Tag Archives: John Hofsess

Longreads Best of 2016: Arts & Culture Writing

We asked a few writers and editors to choose some of their favorite stories of the year in various categories. Here, the best in arts and culture writing.

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Tobias Carroll
Freelance writer, managing editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn, and author of the books Reel and Transitory.

Michael Jackson: Dangerous (Jeff Weiss, Pitchfork)

Earlier this year, Pitchfork began publishing Sunday reviews that explore albums released in the time before said site debuted. This, in turn, has led to a whole lot of smart writers weighing in on the classics, the cult classics, the interesting failures, and the historically significant. Jeff Weiss’s epic take on “Jackson’s final classic album and the best full-length of the New Jack Swing era” is the sort of narrative music writing that’s catnip for me, the kind of work that sends me deeply into my own memories, and leaves me rethinking my own take on the album in question. Read more…

On the Right to Die: John Hofsess’ Secret Assisted Suicide Service

Photo by Alexander Boden -- CCBY 2.0 SA

At Toronto Life, John Hofsess posthumously reveals the secret assisted suicide service he offered to eight Canadians — among them the poet Al Purdy — on the day of his own assisted death.

The maximum penalty for assisted suicide was 14 years in prison. I was raising the stakes: by giving Al a pre-death sedative, my actions could be construed not as assisted suicide but as premeditated, first-degree murder, with a mandatory life sentence. Looking into his eyes, respecting his intellect, hearing his wishes repeated over time, knowing him to be an independent person and thinker, I needed no further assurance that he, in a rational state, had authorized me to be his agent and partner in ending his life. All he would have to do was sip his wine and say farewell to the love of his life, while his favourite music played quietly in the background. I felt honoured that he delegated the technical details to me.

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