America’s Future is Texas

It’s a long road, how we got to now, and a lot of it happened in Texas first. Lawrence Wright, who has lived in Texas for most of his life, explains how the state’s deliberate shift from blue to red, to an extreme red, relied on a calculated series of political moves over the last twenty years that are best seen with the long lens of history.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jul 10, 2017
Length: 76 minutes (19,000 words)

The Reality-TV Star Spencer Pratt on America’s Addiction to Drama

Spencer Pratt’s fame “doesn’t necessarily stem from any immediately recognizable talents.” He and his wife Heidi Montag were the villains of the mid-aughts reality show The Hills, where they were beloved for their strange California-accented-behavior. (Implants! Cristal! Crystals!) Seven years later, Pratt has become a elder-statesman of sorts, a connoisseur of pseudo-celebrity he once peddled, and an expert on the the reality star who currently occupies the Oval Office.

Author: Naomi Fry
Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 30, 2017
Length: 8 minutes (2,200 words)

Nick Kyrgios, the Reluctant Rising Star of Tennis

Twenty-two-year-old Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios is ranked 20th in the world and has beat tennis greats Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic on the court. He’s also flagrantly tried to lose matches on purpose out of frustration, argued with umpires, and berated ball kids. The tennis world is waiting for Kyrgios to mature, but his heart might not be in the game.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jul 3, 2017
Length: 18 minutes (4,658 words)

The National Enquirer’s Fervor for Trump

The National Enquirer has made political careers, but more often it has broken them. (John Edwards ended his presidential candidacy after the magazine revealed he’d had a child out of wedlock.) But during a presidency rife with scandal, the tabloid has remained quiet thanks to its owner David Pecker, who makes no secret of his love for his old friend Donald Trump.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 27, 2017
Length: 26 minutes (6,700 words)

My Dentist’s Murder Trial

James Lasdun tells the story of how his Kingston, NY-based dentist, Gilberto Nunez, D.D.S., wound up in prison. Lasdun writes about attending Nunez’s trial for the murder of his lover’s husband — a man he called his friend — with an eye toward the ways in which law enforcement can botch a case by determining too soon that it knows what happened, and how hard it can be to judge someone’s character.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jul 3, 2017
Length: 24 minutes (6,229 words)

The Persistance of Prog Rock

If the ‘prog’ in prog rock meant “progressive,” did this form of synthy jazz rock ever achieve its high art future? It certainly generated legions of fans and haters.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 19, 2017
Length: 15 minutes (3,907 words)

China’s Mistress Dispellers

The mistress, or what is known in Chinese as a xiao san, or “Little Third,” has become a problem in China, and a new job has sprung up to battle these emotional and financial third wheels: the mistress dispeller. Part private investigator, part emotional confident, the mistress dispeller is tasked with ending the relationship by any means necessary.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 20, 2017
Length: 25 minutes (6,264 words)

Mosul’s Library Without Books

How the Mosul University Library — once home to books and documents dating to antiquity and destroyed by ISIS militants — is becoming the epicenter of Iraq’s cultural rebirth as the homemade mines are removed, Mosul University is rebuilt, and the book drives begin.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 12, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,541 words)

The Addicts Next Door

Margaret Talbot reports on the opioid epidemic in West Virginia. There, the overdose rate is the highest in the United States and many are fighting to help loved ones, friends, neighbors, and sometimes complete strangers get healthy. Among several sources, she profiles an emergency paramedic who routinely sees to multiple overdoses a day (sometimes the same people on repeat). A team of moms called “The Hope Dealers” drives addicts hours away to get the treatment they need. A 71-year-old doctor offers free public classes on how to administer a drug called Narcan which reverses the effects of overdoses that have become commonplace. All this in an opioid epidemic fuelled by cheap highs and small-town despair over limited prospects.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 5, 2017
Length: 46 minutes (11,676 words)

My Grandmother’s Desperate Choice

As a child, Kate Daloz was told her grandmother died in a “household accident,” but the secret her mother had been keeping was a source of long-held family trauma: She had died of a “criminal abortion” on an unremarkable afternoon in her own home after she was unable to get a doctor to perform one illegally. Her grandmother had been married with two kids and a third on the way, when her husband was been shipped off to London by the OSS. Without a doctor, her French step-mother had suggested an alternative method: “Frenchwomen take care of these things themselves.”

Author: Kate Daloz
Source: The New Yorker
Published: May 14, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,500 words)