Throughout the pandemic, Emma Healey and her immunocompromised partner — a liver transplant recipient — have constantly weighed and navigated day-to-day risks. As Toronto opens up, making decisions have become even more confusing. In this essay, Healey reflects on health, risk, and love. We are all making our decisions the same way—with one eye on […]
Ten favorite Longreads originals, as selected by the editors.
“Sometimes, the mechanism of the answer is something ludicrously complex, a thing that must be pieced out bit by bit. Other times, the solution requires retooling your perspective.”
Bombay Beach was once a vibrant resort town on the Salton Sea until agricultural pollution, drought, and toxic air led to its demise. Today, an art movement and emerging community hope to bring it back. In this Noema essay, writer Johanna Hoffman and photographer Tao Ruspoli show how a town in ruins is experiencing a […]
Rob Horning explores the term “creator” in this essay on labor, exploitation, and content production and consumption on the internet. “Creator,” like “creativity,” is essentially a null term that signifies nothing about one’s activity but instead marks one’s limitless availability — a willingness to make anything at all in one’s life into content for sale.
“Clearly dreams do something for us,” writes Michael W. Clune. “If not, why would evolution have endowed us with the capacity?” In this essay, Clune explores the fascinating world of dream engineering via a device called the Dormio, which enables a person to shape the images that appear during hypnagogia, the transitional stage between wakefulness […]
As she travels north through Ethiopia, Anna Badkhen speaks with people who are looking for a way to escape — to cross the Gulf of Aden toward Yemen — and ruminates on the plight of refugees and vulnerable populations around the world. When does a journey begin? When droughts parch the land, or mudslides take entire farms […]
What is storytelling? Megan Marz explores stories, narratives, blog posts, and vibes in this Real Life essay. While I could recognize that blog posts were narrative constructions, and many of them had conventional arcs, they seemed to break with a tradition that to me defined what stories were. They appeared to leak literary expression back […]
Ringer writer Jonathan Tjarks veers from his usual NBA beat to unpack his cancer diagnosis and the shadow it casts over his experience as a son and a father. Unblinking and plainspoken, he somehow manages to strip the emotion out of his writing — but not the emotional impact. I was 12. That’s the age […]
“Two years have passed since that first baking frenzy began — are we any closer to knowing what those loaves are made from?”