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The Fracking Lottery

Colin Jerolmack | Up to Heaven and Down to Hell: Fracking, Freedom, and Community in an American Town | April 2021 | 2,303 words (8 minutes) Excerpted from Chapter 3: The Fracking Lottery Like state-run lotteries (and unlike most of real life), the fracking lottery was also rather random from a sociological perspective, in that lessors’ socioeconomic...

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Breai Mason-Campbell, Simon J. Levien, Paola Capó-García, Emma Gilchrist, and Liam Boylan-Pett. Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox. 1. Seeing in the Dark Breai Mason-Campbell | Pipe Wrench | April 13, 2021 | 5,129 words “I have to wear all of these dolls, you see, so that Whiteness...

“We Can’t Rush This Kind of Power”: An Educator on Teaching Poetry to High Schoolers During the Pandemic

During this period of remote learning during the pandemic, poet and educator Paola Capó-García decided to reimagine her senior English class into a more immersive and focused eight-week poetry course. Through poems, she thought, perhaps her teenage students could reflect on “the particular chaos of 2020” and begin to process the loss they’d experienced...

‘The Price For Your Return to Normal Is My Life’: On Dismantling Layers of the Doll

“Trapped indoors as they and we have been for a year, it occurs to me that White people have just figured out what it’s like to be in a living nightmare,” writes Baltimore-based writer Breai Mason-Campbell. In “Seeing in the Dark,” a stunning essay in the first-ever issue of Pipe Wrench, Mason-Campbell reflects on how the pandemic “has been like smelling...

Deconstructing Disney: Queer Coding and Masculinity in Pocahontas

Jeanna Kadlec| Longreads | April 2021 | 2,936 words (11 minutes) Disney often codes their villains as queer: This is widely known and accepted. First noticed by scholars during the Disney Renaissance of the late ‘80s through the ‘90s, critical observations about characters like Scar (The Lion King) have since disseminated into pithy, viral tweets and...

No Escape from Online Memories

In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a couple uses a medical procedure to erase each other from their memories after the relationship ends. It was a simpler time — that wouldn’t work now. Memories of relationships (and all life events), don’t just exist in our heads anymore, they are online, and online memories are very tricky to destroy. ...

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Eli Murray, Rebecca Woolington, and Corey G. Johnson, Ava Kofman, Olly Nze, Dina Gachman, and Larissa Pham. Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox. 1. Poisoned Eli Murray, Rebecca Woolington, Corey G. Johnson | Tampa Bay Times | March 24, 2021 | 6,560 words “Hundreds of workers at a Tampa...

Switch at Birth — But How?

This is an excerpt from The Atavist‘s issue no. 113, “The Lives of Others,” by writer Lindsay Jones. In remote Newfoundland, a search for answers about a series of baby mix-ups leads to a woman known as “Nurse Tiger.” Lindsay Jones | The Atavist | March 2021 | 5 minutes (1,556 words) The Atavist is Longreads‘ sister publication. For 10 years, it has...

When Refugee Families are Separated, Women Carry the Burden

Ty McCormick | Beyond the Sand and Sea, One Family’s Quest for Country to Call Home | April 2021 | 3,518 words (20 minutes) A few weeks after Maryan gave birth to her first son, Mohamed, word came from Dadaab that her parents and younger siblings were going to America. The Ashraf had been given priority for resettlement by the UN, and thousands of...

Listen to the Sound of My Voice

Not long after journalist Minelle Mahtani began hosting her own radio show in Canada, her mother was diagnosed with tongue cancer. In a poignant essay for The Walrus, Mahtani explains how she was suddenly confronted with the painful reality that, just as she was finding her voice, her mother was losing hers: I remembered the words of poet Rita Wong....

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