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Addy Walker, American Girl

The role of black dolls in American culture.

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The Secret Sadness of Pregnancy with Depression

“We still have retrograde ideas about how pregnant women should feel, and we need to revise them — not only for depressed women but for all women.”

Friday, May 29

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A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite

In 1980, a bankrupt gambler came up with a plan to get his money back. He built an incredibly complex bomb, one that was impossible to diffuse and that only he knew how to move, and snuck it into a Lake Tahoe casino with an extortion note demanding $3 million. Part of the plan worked. Part of it did not.

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Jodorowsky On God, Anti-Semitism, And The Uses of Poetry

“What I do is not magical realism. I do realistic magic. Look, whenever someone does something new, people have to compare it with things they already know. So even if you innovate, you end up being connected to the past. When I began making movies people linked me to Fellini or Buñuel. Now new filmmakers are called ‘jodorowskian.’”

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Fly Trans-Love Airways

Rebellious teens on the Sunset Strip.


Reprinted by Longform and available online in full for the first time, this article also appears in Adler's new collection, After the Tall Timber.

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The Piscivore's Dilemma

A vegan sets out to see if there’s an ethical, sustainable way to eat fish in 2015.

Thursday, May 28

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Under the Skin

A West Hollywood aesthetician made headlines after allegedly trying to have a business rival killed. But the real story, involving ongoing harassment and a member of the so-called Bling Ring, may be more complicated.

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Fiction Pick of the Week: "Other Gods"

A tornado causes physical and psychological turmoil in a religious community.

"The next morning, I ran through the streets in my pajamas, screaming for somebody, anybody. I finally found Daddy standing at the edge of the detention pond behind the church. It was full of all sorts of stuff: cars, tree trunks, gas grills, hot water heaters, and two bodies. The bodies were naked, and I didn’t recognize them at first. But then I saw their faces. It was Brother Mack and the second Hillyer girl. They were facing each other, impaled by a metal post from the chain link fence, pushed together like two pieces of chicken on a kebab."

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"I Just Wish for People to Give Me a Chance"

Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002. He was held in Guantanamo for years without charges. He was tortured. And earlier this month, after nearly 13 years behind bars, he was released on bail.

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How Do You Define a Gang Member?

If you’re in a gang, the law can impose harsh penalties. But even though the police think they’ve got all the signs of gang membership down pat, it turns out that you can’t really tell just by looking.

Wednesday, May 27

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For the Mouth Speaks

After a member of the Church of Wells abruptly left the group (which may or may not be a cult), many held out hope. A week later she went back, and the church’s elders are eager to explain why.

Previously: Sinners in the Hands

Longform Podcast #143: Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen has written for The New York Times, The London Review of Books, Vanity Fair, and others. Her book about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy, came out in April.

“The moment she said it, it was obvious that I'd been created to write this story. I'd covered both wars in Chechnya. I'd covered a lot of terrorism. I'd studied terrorism. And I'd been a Russian-speaking immigrant in Boston, which actually is the most important qualification for writing this book. It didn't give me special knowledge, but it gave me a lot of questions that I knew to ask that other people wouldn't.”

Thanks to TinyLetter, Trunk Club, and Casper, for sponsoring this week's episode.

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