Foreign Bodies

Immigration law isn’t keeping up with reproductive technology — it’s hamstringing the citizenship rights of children not born to married, fertile, heterosexual parents, and showing us that marriage equality in the U.S. isn’t equal in all ways.

Author: Raj Telhan
Source: VQR
Published: Dec 13, 2018
Length: 26 minutes (6,739 words)

Going To Extremes

After a bout with cancer and several strokes that eliminated her quality of life, Becky Benight had had enough. She wanted to die on her own terms. Confessing her wishes to her husband Philip, he sprung her from nursing home hell in a bid for freedom; they made a pact to end their own lives to stop their chronic suffering. Everything went along according to plan until Philip woke up from his coma to discover that not only had Becky died, he’d been charged with her murder.

Published: Jan 14, 2019
Length: 21 minutes (5,341 words)

The Weight I Carry

In a piece adapted from his forthcoming book, The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man’s Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America, Tommy Tomlinson shares the physical and emotional costs of weighing 460 lbs, the emotions that drive him to eat, and the uplifting litany of activities he looks forward to doing as he loses weight.

Source: The Atlantic
Published: Jan 9, 2019
Length: 19 minutes (4,934 words)

At Risk, at Home and Abroad

As Joy Notoma grapples with uterine fibroids, harmful biases in the medical establishment, and a move from Brooklyn to West Africa she wonders where, as a black woman, she can find safety.

Author: Joy Notoma
Source: Longreads
Published: Jan 14, 2019
Length: 12 minutes (3,079 words)

Take This Stranger From My Boat

With the help of Grand Funk Railroad, Rob Horning collates some recent attempts to grapple with the nature and possibility of being authentic on the internet, in politics, and in politics on the internet.

Source: Real Life Mag
Published: Jan 11, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,505 words)

No Place Like Home

A slew of new shows timed perfectly for new year’s resolution purges help us pare down our possessions, keeping us focused on stuff instead of, say, systemic housing inequality.

Published: Jan 11, 2019
Length: 8 minutes (2,119 words)

The Whitest News You Know

If there’s one clear moral to adduce from the horrifically prostrate coverage of the Trump movement’s white-nationalist profile in the mainstream press, it’s that the white-dominated media simply doesn’t care about changing in any meaningful way.

Source: The Baffler
Published: Jan 10, 2019
Length: 18 minutes (4,500 words)

What it Felt Like When ‘Cat Person’ Went Viral

A personal essay in which Kristen Roupenian writes about the experience of having “Cat Person” — her fictional short story about a young woman who goes through with sex she’d rather not have at the end of a bad date, published in the New Yorker in 2017 — go viral, become the subject of much public debate in the #MeToo era, and be misinterpreted as memoir.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jan 10, 2019
Length: 8 minutes (2,095 words)

Elwood, Illinois (Pop. 2,200), Has Become a Vital Hub of America’s Consumer Economy. And It’s Hell.

In 2002, developers made a deal with the people of Elwood, Illinois: they’d bring high-paying jobs in the growing warehousing and logistics industry to the centrally-located town in exchange for two decades of tax abatement. Seventeen years later, temp agencies in the region are flourishing, but full-time jobs are few and far between. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of semis have wrought havoc on Will County’s infrastructure — and without enough tax revenue to offset the damage, the town of Elwood has gone more than $30 million in debt trying to fix the roads.

Published: Jan 9, 2019
Length: 21 minutes (5,349 words)

I Was Pregnant and in Crisis. All the Doctors and Nurses Saw Was an Incompetent Black Woman

“It might seem that the culture’s perennial strong woman would also be competent. But incompetent and superhero do not actually conflict in the context of essential notions about gender, race, class, and hierarchy.”

Source: Time Magazine
Published: Jan 8, 2019
Length: 7 minutes (1,775 words)