The Quality of Life Report, 2017

A personal essay by author Meghan Daum in which she describes her trepidation around the re-issue of her 2003 debut novel, The Quality of Life Report. The book–about a New York television reporter who moves to the midwest–pokes fun at liberals, coastal elites and P.C. culture, and makes jokes about gender, race and class, all of which might not be as easy to get away with in the tense political climate of 2017.

Published: Apr 18, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,557 words)

Read and Destroy

Karen Durrie was ten years old when her mother’s boyfriend began to molest her. At the Globe and Mail, Durrie examines the years of abuse and the fear, shame, and feelings of complicity that not only kept her silent, but encouraged her to correspond with her attacker.

Published: Apr 23, 2017
Length: 20 minutes (5,213 words)

Stitch by Stitch: A Brief History of Knitting and Activism

At one time, women’s education included critical training in needle arts like sewing and knitting, which were “not only necessary skills but also political tools for the women involved in resisting authority.” At PBS, Corinne Segal reports on pussy hats and brain hats as just two examples in a long line of hand-made symbols where women pitting themselves against the status quo. Then and now, knitting circles are perfect environments in which to sew the seeds of political discontent.

Source: PBS
Published: Apr 23, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,878 words)

Hunting Child Predators With Canada’s Freelance Vigilantes

In Canada, where the sex offender registry and convicted criminals’ names are private, a movement of “creep-hunters” has taken justice into their own hands and built a popular network of homemade videos around public shaming. Now they’re streamlining their approach to go mainstream, but at what cost?

Author: Suzy Khimm
Source: Esquire
Published: Apr 9, 2017
Length: 27 minutes (6,750 words)

On Becoming a Woman Who Knows Too Much

Through my education I’d become a trusted source of specialized knowledge. But how could I become the kind of leader who is surrounded with people like me?

Author: Hawa Allan
Source: Longreads
Published: Apr 22, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,661 words)

How Young Muslims Define “Halal Dating” For Themselves

“Young Muslims find a middle ground for fostering romantic relationships between what is permissible and what is forbidden.”

Source: NPR Code Switch
Published: Apr 20, 2017
Length: 7 minutes (1,795 words)

Pills and Thrills and Daffodils

Years before Prince died of an overdose, his music provided a lifeline for Eva Tenuto.

Author: Eva Tenuto
Source: Longreads
Published: Apr 21, 2017
Length: 8 minutes (2,181 words)

Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria

“Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.”

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Apr 20, 2017
Length: 27 minutes (6,975 words)

Hot, Sticky & Sweet

Who knew you could learn so much about Southern identity just by thinking — really hard — about doughnuts?

Published: Feb 7, 2017
Length: 26 minutes (6,585 words)

America’s Most Political Food

Maurice Bessinger founded a popular South Carolina barbecue restaurant called the Piggie Park that was “worth driving a hundred miles for.” He was also a Confederate flag-waving white supremacist. Civil rights groups led boycotts against the Piggie Park for decades, but after Bessinger died and his children put away the flags, people wondered whether it would ever be acceptable to eat there.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Apr 17, 2017
Length: 27 minutes (6,772 words)