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Showtime, Synergy: Exclusive Early Access to a New Story from The Awl and Matt Siegel

Longreads Pick

This week, we are excited to give Longreads Members exclusive early access to a new story from Matt Siegel, to be published next week on The Awl. Here’s more from The Awl co-founder and editor Choire Sicha:

“Matt Siegel’s very funny nonfiction story of love, deceit and betrayal (oh my God, I know!!!) comes on all unassuming and conversational. Unlike many citizens of the MFA world (Matt’s a recent graduate of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program), he keeps his techniques hidden. We’re really looking forward to publishing this at The Awl, but we’re more thrilled to share it with Longreads Members—like ourselves!—first.”

Siegel (@unabashedqueer) has previously written for The Huffington Post, The Hairpin, Flaunt Magazine, and The Advocate.

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Source: Longreads
Published: Mar 2, 2014
Length: 29 minutes (7,343 words)

Showtime, Synergy: Exclusive Early Access to a New Story from The Awl and Matt Siegel

This week, we are excited to give Longreads Members exclusive early access to a new story from Matt Siegel, to be published next week on The Awl. Here’s more from The Awl co-founder and editor Choire Sicha:

“Matt Siegel’s very funny nonfiction story of love, deceit and betrayal (oh my God, I know!!!) comes on all unassuming and conversational. Unlike many citizens of the MFA world (Matt’s a recent graduate of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program), he keeps his techniques hidden. We’re really looking forward to publishing this at The Awl, but we’re more thrilled to share it with Longreads Members—like ourselves!—first.”

Siegel (@thatmattsiegel) has previously written for The Huffington Post, The Hairpin, Flaunt Magazine, and The Advocate.

Become a Longreads Member to get the story

Longreads Members, login here to start reading

The Awl's Choire Sicha, Carrie Frye, Alex Balk: Our Top Longreads of 2011

(Left to right: Choire, Carrie, Alex)

Because there are three of us, we trilaterally decided to go for 15. But it’s not really five each; that becomes complicated, too, but… well, anyway, no matter how you cut it, surely at least one of us hated some of these stories. Also to be fair, this list, which is not in order, should really be called “The 15 Best Longreads That We Can Still Remember From 2011—What A Year, Am I Right, Oh Man, It’s December Somehow—After Extensive Googling and Mind-Nudging (Also Only Stories That We Didn’t Publish Ourselves, Because We Could Easily Cough Up 25 Longreads From Our Own Archives That Are Totally As Good Or Better And Also Have Better Gender Parity Probably But Anyway We Don’t Roll Self-Promotionally Like That).” FUN BONUS: Only three of the 15 best stories of the year (yes, sure, that we can remember) were in The New Yorker, so they are ranked in order. — Alex Balk, Carrie Frye, Choire Sicha of The Awl. (See their #longreads archive here.)

***

• James Meek, “In the Sorting Office,” London Review of Books

• Tess Lynch, “No Actor Parking,” n+1

• David Roth, “Our Pizzas, Ourselves”

• Paul Ford, “The Web Is A Customer Service Medium”

• Katie Baker, “The Confessions of a Former Adolescent Puck Tease,” Deadspin

• Emily Gould, “Our Graffiti”

• Jim Santel, “Living Out the Day: The Moviegoer Turns Fifty,” The Millions

• John Jeremiah Sullivan, A Rough Guide to Disney World, The New York Times Magazine

• Anna Holmes, “Spotlighting the work of women in the civil rights movement’s Freedom Rides,” Washington Post

• Michael Idov, “The Movie Set That Ate Itself,” GQ

• Evan Hughes, “Just Kids,” New York Magazine

• Tim Dickinson, “How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich,” Rolling Stone

BONUS:

The year’s three best New Yorker stories, in order:

3. Keith Gessen, “Nowheresville: How Kazakhstan is building a glittering new capital from scratch” (sub. required)

2. David Grann, “A Murder Foretold: Unravelling the ultimate political conspiracy”

1. Kelefa Sanneh, “Where’s Earl? Word from the missing prodigy of a hip-hop group on the rise” (sub. required)

ACTUAL BONUS BONUS:

Paul Collins’ “Vanishing Act” (Lapham’s Quarterly), about Barbara Newhall Follett, was published in the last twelve months, but on December 18, 2010, so to avoid the problem of the year-end list that’s published before the end of the year, ahem, we include it here honorarily.

The Awl: A Q&A with a Vacuum Cleaner Salesman

The Awl: A Q&A with a Vacuum Cleaner Salesman

Trafficked Into Slavery on Thai Trawlers to Catch Food for Prawns

Longreads Pick

An investigation of the Thai fishing industry, which has been built on enslaving migrant workers:

The price captains pay for these men is a extremely low even by historical standards. According to the anti-trafficking activist Kevin Bales, slaves cost 95% less than they did at the height of the 19th-century slave trade – meaning that they are not regarded as investments for important cash crops such as cotton or sugar, as they were historically, but as disposable commodities.

For the migrants who believed Thailand would bring them opportunity, the reality of being sent out to sea is devastating.

“They told me I was going to work in a pineapple factory,” recalls Kyaw, a broad-shouldered 21-year-old from rural Burma. “But when I saw the boats, I realised I’d been sold … I was so depressed, I wanted to die.”

Author: Kate Hodal
Source: The Guardian
Published: Jun 10, 2014
Length: 15 minutes (3,833 words)

The Long, Lawless Ride of Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Longreads Pick

In Arizona’s Maricopa County, 80-year-old Joe Arpaio has made a name for himself “for being not just the toughest but the most corrupt and abusive sheriff in America.” He’s now being sued by the Justice Department for civil rights violations against Latinos:

“Arpaio began focusing on illegal immigration about six years ago, after he watched an ambitious politician named Andrew Thomas get elected chief prosecutor of Maricopa County by promising to crack down on illegal immigrants. In 2006, shortly before the Department of Homeland Security empowered local law-enforcement agencies to act as an arm of the federal immigration effort, Arpaio created a Human Smuggling Unit – and used Thomas’ somewhat twisted interpretation of the law to focus not on busting coyotes and other smugglers, but on going after the smuggled.

“The move may have been indefensible from a legal standpoint, but it was political gold: Arpaio quickly ramped up his arrest numbers, bringing him a round of fresh media attention. The sheriff made a splash by setting up roadblocks to detain any drivers who looked like they could be in the U.S. illegally – a virtual license to racially profile Hispanics. Reports of pull-overs justified by little or no discernible traffic violations were soon widespread: Latinos in the northeastern part of the county, one study shows, were nine times more likely to be pulled over for the same infractions as other drivers. Arpaio’s men, the Justice Department alleges, relied on factors ‘such as whether passengers look “disheveled” or do not speak English.’ Some stops were justified after the fact: A group of Latinos who were photographed sitting in a car, neatly dressed, were described in the police report as appearing ‘dirty,’ the ostensible rationale for the pull-over. Testifying on the stand on July 24th in a federal trial over his department’s blatant record of racial profiling, Arpaio himself acknowledged that he once called the crackdown a ‘pure program to go after the illegals and not the crime first.'”

Author: Joe Hagan
Source: Rolling Stone
Published: Aug 2, 2012
Length: 24 minutes (6,027 words)