Kramer can almost make you smell and taste the stuff she’s picking: mint, asparagus, fennel, mushrooms. Plus, maybe my favorite lead sentence of the year: “I spent the summer foraging, like an early hominid with clothes.”
The disturbing investigation into an Army unit in Afghanistan that was killing civilians for sport.
I kind of didn’t want to like this piece, but Franzen’s assessment of “consumer technology products,” and our fraught relationships with them, feels right on.
As a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan, it was heartbreaking to read this chronicle of how the Giants’ greatest rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, have gone from one of the most respected organizations in sports to one of the most dysfunctional.
A fascinating investigation that suggests Dominique Strauss-Kahn was set up, perhaps even by people associated with French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Pretty much anything by Charles P. Pierce at Grantland, but especially his piece on the beginning of the end of NCAA sports and his unflinching essay on Jerry Sandusky and Penn State.
Share your own Top 5 Longreads of 2011, all through December. Just tag it #longreads on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook.
Last month, the City and Regional Magazine Association, a membership-based body of local magazines and alt-weeklies, announced the winners of its annual awards. This year, Texas Monthly, Portland Monthly, and Sarasota Magazine won overall excellence awards in their respective categories.
Local and regional periodicals fill an important space in the media ecosystem; voices rooted in the sights and sounds of a place can reveal the complexity of what’s really happening in an area. We all know by now that our time is one where the press is imperiled and the pursuit of truth is threatened. There is commercial pressure on journalists due to a fragmented marketplace, and mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations that have shorn staff sizes and budgets. As we have said before, it is important to support their work.
In honor of the awards, we compiled a few local and regional deep cuts, including some of the winning pieces from CRMA publications. What do they have in common? A rigorous approach to the truth, a convergence of the of the personal and political, implicit — and some explicit — calls to action, and excellent writing.
As the president sucks up the oxygen from the media atmosphere, it’s easy to forget how important local journalism is right now. The regional press—the holy trinity of newspapers, alt-weeklies, and city magazines—is where we can find true stories of friends and neighbors impacted by immigration raids, fights over funding public education, and the frontline of relaxed environmental standards that will impact the water we drink and the air we breathe. We need to support their work. Read more…
Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.
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This week, we’re sharing stories from Jonah Engel Bromwich, Ryan Goldberg, Meghan Daum, Alison Osius, and Joel Mowdy.
This week, we’re sharing stories from Irin Carmon, Joe Bernstein, Robert Sanchez, Amanda Feinman, and Lois Beckett.
Here are stories from 2018 that captured Longreads editors’ imaginations as deserving of ongoing attention. If you like these, you can sign up to receive our weekly email every Friday.
Writer and contributing editor, Longreads
Always Open, The Eureka Hotel (Jamey Hatley, Strange Horizons)
The July 30 issue of Strange Horizons, a monthly journal dedicated to speculative fiction, focused on narratives of the southeastern United States, and were all written by indigenous authors and other writers of color. In the stories they selected and nurtured, editors Sheree Renee Thomas, Erin Roberts, and Rasha Abdulhadi brought to light a multiciplicitious South, ripe with the region’s “history, music, food, language,” yet sensitive to the hauntings and challenges still left unresolved.
My favorite story of the issue, “Always Open, the Eureka Hotel,” by Memphis-born writer Jamey Hatley, is an innovative, life-stirring feat of storytelling that resists the boundaries of genre and the page itself to dive deep into the interiors of its characters, into the heart and marrow of a place. A young Black girl in Jim Crow Mississippi has been caught in an affair with a mysterious, blues-playing lover; her protective father and brother drive her North, toward Chicago, away from the trouble her lover can bring. Guided by the Negro Motorist Green Book and the Negro Yearbook and Directory, the family journeys through sundown towns and has a menacing encounter with a white police officer. Their stop in Memphis at the Eureka Hotel changes the young girl’s life: “You thought you were hungry for what your lover could teach you, but you were hungry for yourself.”
Based on deep research (with thorough footnotes!) into Southern foodways, the traditions of conjure and rootwork, and the queer history of the blues, Hatley has created a world in between the real one and a fictional one, between now and the past, to reveal something truer about the South and feminine longing and hope than anything I’ve read in a long time.
“Experts say that if we’re truly concerned about terrorism, one of the most compelling strategies for diffusing the threat lies in welcoming more refugees, not fewer, and helping them assimilate, because refugee camps and purposefully isolated immigrant neighborhoods can be potent incubators for radicalization. Before he was ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill worked on the Bosnian peace negotiations in the late 1990s and saw what a powder keg the camps can be. ‘You try to police that activity, but there’s nothing to do in refugee camps, so that kind of proselytizing has been present in every situation I’ve seen,’ Hill says.”
-From a fantastic 2016 story by Luc Hatlestad in 5280 magazine, about one refugee family’s journey from Iraq to Colorado.
If you like these, you can sign up to receive our free weekly email every Friday. Read more…