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“Yee-aay-ee!” “Wah-Who-Eeee!” -Margaret Mitchell
“Wah-Who-Eeee!” -Chester Goolrick
-H. Allen Smith
We are very excited to announce that Jessica Wilbanks’ essay “On The Far Side of the Fire” has been named as a finalist for the Pen Center USA 2014 Literary Awards. Wilbanks’ essay was honored in Pen Center USA’s journalism category. The piece was first published in the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of Ninth Letter and later made its online debut as a Longreads Member Pick in January 2014. You can read more Longreads Member Picks here.
Photo: Jessica Wilbanks
“It’s like this here every day,” Dayani Baldelomar Bustos tells me as her dark eyes scan the packed alley for an opening. People carrying baskets of produce on their heads press against our backs. Read more…
Debie Thomas | River Teeth | Summer 2013 | 17 minutes (4,194 words)
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Three girls are smoking on the back porch of their high school dorm. It’s near midnight on a Saturday in early autumn, the leaves not yet fallen, the darkness thick. A man steps out of the woods. He is wearing a black ski mask, a hooded jacket, leather gloves. He has a gun. He tells the girls to follow him, that if they make a noise or run he’ll shoot. He makes them lie face down on the ground. He rapes first one and then the others. He walks away. Read more…
Russell Cobb | This Land Press | August 2014 | 16 minutes (3,976 words)
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For our latest Longreads Member Pick, we’re excited to share a story from The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, a new book from science reporter Sam Kean looking at stories about the brain and the history of neuroscience. Here’s Kean:
In our minds, we more or less equate our identities with our memories; our very selves seem the sum total of all we’ve done and felt and seen. That’s why we cling to our memories so hard, even to our detriment sometimes—they seem the only bulwark we have against the erosion of the self. That’s also why disorders that rob us of our memories seem so cruel.
In the excerpt below, I explore one of the most profound cases of amnesia in medical history, H.M., who taught us several important things about how memory works. Perhaps most important, he taught us that different types of memories exist in the brain, and that each type is controlled by different structures. In fact, H.M. so profoundly changed our ideas about memory that it’s hard to remember what things were like before him.
For our latest Longreads Member Pick, we’re excited to feature an excerpt from The House of Mondavi, Julia Flynn Siler’s book about a family that turned a Napa Valley winery into a billion-dollar fortune. Thanks to Siler and Gotham Books for sharing it with the Longreads community.
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For our Longreads Member Pick, we’re excited to share the opening chapter of Jesus Land, the bestselling 2012 memoir by Julia Scheeres about her strict Christian upbringing in Indiana, her relationship with her adopted brother David, and the stint they did in a Christian reform school together in the Dominican Republic. Our thanks to Scheeres and Counterpoint Press for sharing this story with the Longreads community. Read more…