Wednesday, May 28

Longform Podcast #94: Gary Smith

Gary Smith, a four-time National Magazine Award winner, retired last month after 32 years at Sports Illustrated.

"We were on the Santa Monica Freeway, Ali's driving 70 miles an hour and his eyes are drifting asleep—the medication for Parkinson's would do that to him. I'm thinking, 'Oh, crap.' We're weaving between lanes, cars are honking, and I'm wondering in the passenger seat, 'Should I grab the wheel from the greatest champ of all-time?' The writer in me wants to let it go, let the crash happen just so I get a scene for the story. But the human in me was just getting scared as hell."

Thanks to TinyLetter and EA SPORTS FIFA WORLD CUP for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

  1. Smith on Longform
  2. [18:30] "Crime and Punishment" (Sports Illustrated • Jun 1996)
  3. [39:00] "The Secret Life of Mia Hamm" (Sports Illustrated • Sep 2003)
  4. [40:00] "Someone to Lean On" (Sports Illustrated • Dec 1996)
  5. [41:00] "As Time Runs Out" (Sports Illustrated • Jan 1993)
  6. [42:15] "Tyson the Timid, Tyson the Terrible" (Sports Illustrated • Mar 1988)
  7. [47:45] "Damned Yankee" (Sports Illustrated • Oct 1997)
  8. [48:30] "Ali and His Entourage" (Sports Illustrated • Apr 1988)
  9. [52:00] "Coming Into Focus" (Sports Illustrated • Jul 2006)

Wednesday, May 21

Longform Podcast #93: Michael Paterniti

Michael Paterniti, a correspondent for GQ, has also written for Esquire, Rolling Stone and Outside. His latest book is The Telling Room.

"I want to see it, whatever it is. If it's war, if it's suffering, if it's complete, unbridled elation, I just want to see what that looks like—I want to smell it, I want to taste it, I want to think about it, I want to be caught up in it."

Thanks to this week's sponsors: TinyLetter and Hari Kunzru's Twice Upon a Time, the new title from and Atavist Books.


Show notes:

  1. @MikePaterniti
  2. Paterniti on Longform
  3. [4:30] Driving Mr. Albert (Dial Press • Jun 2001)
  4. [5:00] The Telling Room (Dial Press • Jul 2013)
  5. [9:30] "He Might Be A Prophet. That, Or the Greatest Chef in the World." (Esquire • Jul 2001)
  6. [13:00] "XXXXL" (GQ • Mar 2005)
  7. [42:45] "The Man Who Sailed His House" (GQ • Oct 2011)
  8. [46:00] Paterniti's Outside archive
  9. [47:30] "Driving Mr. Albert" (Harper's • Oct 1997) [sub. req'd]
  10. [48:15] "The 15 Year Layover" (GQ • Sep 2003)
  11. [48:15] "The Suicide Catcher" (GQ • May 2010)
  12. [50:00] "How to Drake It In America" (GQ • Jun 2013)
  13. [50:00] "On the Cover: Javier Bardem" (GQ • Oct 2012)
  14. [50:45] "The Luckiest Village in the World" (GQ • May 2013)
  15. [51:15] "The House That Thurman Munson Built" (Esquire • Sep 1999)
  16. [56:00] "The Long Fall of One-Eleven Heavy" (Esquire • Jul 2000)

Wednesday, May 14

Longform Podcast #92: Leslie Jamison

Leslie Jamison has written for The Believer, Harper's and The New York Times. Her latest book is The Empathy Exams.

"I sort of love imagining a small army of 22-year-old men who are just like, 'Fuck that book, I wish it was never published.'"

Thanks to TinyLetter and Harry's for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show notes:

  1. @lsjamison
  2. lesliejamison.com
  3. Jamison on Longform
  4. [9:00] The Empathy Exams (Graywolf Press • Apr 2014)
  5. [12:15] "La Plata Perdida" (A Public Space • Nov 2009) [sub. req'd]
  6. [13:15] "Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain" (Virginia Quarterly Review • Apr 2014)
  7. [17:00] "Is It Harder to Write About Happiness Than Its Opposite?" (New York Times • Mar 2014)
  8. [18:15] The Gin Closet: A Novel (Free Press • Feb 2010)
  9. [27:30] Autobiography of a Face (Lucy Grealy • Harper Perennial • Mar 2003)
  10. [43:00] "The Devil's Bait" (Harper's • Sep 2013)
  11. [49:00] "The Empathy Exams" (The Believer • Feb 2014)

Wednesday, May 7

Longform Podcast #91: Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis has written for The New Republic, Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine. His latest book is Flash Boys.

"When you're telling a story, you're essentially playing the cards you're dealt. ... Sometimes the hand is very easy to play. Sometimes the hand is difficult to play. At the end, I just try to think, 'Is there anything I would have done differently?' 'Is there any trick I missed?' If I don't have the feeling that I missed something big, I feel happy about the book."

Thanks to TinyLetter and Audible for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show notes:

  1. michaellewiswrites.com
  2. Lewis on Longform
  3. [2:30] Lewis's speech at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital (2011)
  4. [2:45] Flash Boys (W.W. Norton & Co. • Mar 2014)
  5. [3:45] "Did Goldman Sachs Overstep in Criminally Charging Its Ex-Programmer?" (Vanity Fair • Aug 2013)
  6. [6:45] The Big Short (W.W. Norton & Co. • Mar 2010)
  7. [7:15] Moneyball (W.W. Norton & Co. • May 2003)
  8. [7:45] Liar's Poker (W.W. Norton & Co. • Oct 1989)
  9. [25:15] Lewis's New Republic archive
  10. [31:45] The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story (W.W. Norton & Co. • Oct 1999)

Wednesday, April 30

Longform Podcast #90: Susan Dominus

Susan Dominus is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine.

"A lot of reporting is really just hanging around and not going home until something interesting happens."

Thanks to TinyLetter for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

  1. @susandominus
  2. Dominus on Longform
  3. [7:00] Longform Podcast #31: Emily Nussbaum
  4. [9:45] "Santa's Little Helper" (New York Times • Dec 1999)
  5. [10:00] "The Allergy Prison" (New York Times Magazine • Jun 2001)
  6. [11:00] "Shabana is Late for School" (New York Times Magazine • Sep 2002)
  7. [16:00] "Everybody Has a Mother" (New York Times Magazine • Feb 2003)
  8. [17:30] "What Happened to the Girls in Le Roy?" (New York Times Magazine • Mar 2012)
  9. [25:15] "Eve Ensler Wants to Save the World" (New York Times Magazine • Feb 2002)
  10. [30:15] "He Could Be Cranky, But He Was Her Neighbor" (New York Times • Mar 2008)
  11. [32:00] "Susan Dominus is the Best" (Hamilton Nolan • Gawker • Jul 2009)
  12. [33:15] Longform Podcast #87: Amanda Hess
  13. [33:46] "It's All Sweetness and Light, Until the Snowballs Fly" (New York Times • Feb 2010)
  14. [35:00] "Could Conjoined Twins Share a Mind?" (New York Times Magazine • May 2011)
  15. [35:15] Longform Podcast #28: Joel Lovell (live)
  16. [43:00] "The Woman Who Took the Fall for JPMorgan Chase" (New York Times Magazine • Oct 2012)
  17. [49:00] "Daniel Radcliffe's Next Trick is to Make Harry Potter Disappear" (New York Times Magazine • Oct 2013)
  18. [53:30] "Why Isn't Maggie Cheung a Hollywood Star?" (New York Times • Nov 2004)
  19. [54:00] "Dangerous When Interested" (New York Times Magazine • Aug 2007)
  20. [58:00] "Life in the Age of Old, Old Age" (New York Times Magazine • Feb 2004)

Wednesday, April 23

Longform Podcast #89: Alice Gregory

Alice Gregory has written for GQ, The New York Times, n+1 and Harper's.

"If you don't have a real story with a beginning, middle and an end, you owe it to the reader to kind of serve as their chaperone."

Thanks to TinyLetter and EA SPORTS FIFA WORLD CUP for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

  1. @alicegregory
  2. Gregory on Longform
  3. alicegregory.tumblr.com
  4. [4:30] "Sad as Hell" (n+1 • Nov 2010)
  5. [9:45] "On the Market" (n+1 • Mar 2012)
  6. [11:45] "Mavericks" (n+1 • Oct 2013)
  7. [21:30] "Ryan McGinley: Naked and Famous" (GQ • Apr 2014)
  8. [32:30] "Professional Doppelgänger (Dealmaker)" (Mark Singer • New Yorker • Jan 1982)
  9. [33:30] "Found Money" (Harper's • May 2014) [sub. req'd]
  10. [40:30] "Interview: Renata Adler" (The Believer • Dec 2012)
  11. [44:00] "Obscurity is the Lure" (New York Times • Mar 2014)
  12. [49:30] Longform Podcast #34: Molly Young

Wednesday, April 16

Longform Podcast #88: Sam Biddle

Sam Biddle writes for Valleywag.

"It's a lot of overgrown, entitled manchildren pulling price tags out of the ether and passing them around. Considering Silicon Valley worthy of contempt is the first premise that we work from."

Thanks to TinyLetter for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

  1. @samfbiddle
  2. [6:15] Valleywag's coverage of Sean Parker
  3. [6:45] "'The Uber of Private Jets' is a Real Thing" (Valleywag • Apr 2013)
  4. [6:55] "What is Auto-Tune, and Why Does Jay-Z Want It Dead?" (PSFK • Jun 2009)
  5. [18:15] "Look Who’s Gawking: Inside Nick Denton’s Phony, Hypocritical Class War Against Tech Workers" (Paul Carr • Pando Daily • Dec 2013)
  6. [19:45] "Meet the Google Founder's Mistress" (Valleywag • Aug 2013)
  7. [34:15] "Indentured Servitude, Money Laundering, and Piles of Money: The Crazy Secrets of Internet Cam Girls [NSFW]" (Gizmodo • Sep 2012)
  8. [41:45] "Google Employee: 'You Can't Afford It? You Can Leave!' (Update: Hoax) (Valleywag • Dec 2013)

Wednesday, April 9

Longform Podcast #87: Amanda Hess

Amanda Hess, a staff writer at Slate, has also written for Pacific Standard, GOOD, and ESPN the Magazine.

"I ended up not loving the fact that I was getting a bunch of calls from MSNBC and CNN, who mostly wanted to talk about people threatening to rape and kill me and only a tiny bit about the story I'd written. ... It was tiring, and it seemed dismissive of me as a person. It's a strange thing to become somebody else's story, especially when the story is: You're a victim of an insane online harasser. That's who you are."

Thanks to this week's sponsors, TinyLetter and Oyster Books.


Show notes:

  1. @amandahess
  2. Hess on Longform
  3. sexwithamandahess.com
  4. [3:15] "Point Taken" (Washington City Paper • Mar 2008)
  5. [9:30] The Sexist blog
  6. [18:30] "What Women Want: Porn and the Frontier of Female Sexuality" (Good • Nov 2011)
  7. [31:30] "Why Women Aren't Welcome on the Internet" (Pacific Standard • Jan 2014)
  8. [46:45] "Just Cheer, Baby" (ESPN The Magazine • Apr 2014)
  9. [47:00] "You Can Only Hope to Contain Them" (ESPN The Magazine • Jul 2013)

Wednesday, April 2

Longform Podcast #86: Mattathias Schwartz

Mattathias Schwartz has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Harper's.

"I figure it's like digging through a wall with a spoon: if you spend enough time at it eventually you get to the other side."

Thanks to TinyLetter and Audible for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

  1. mattathiasschwartz.com
  2. Schwartz on Longform
  3. [4:00] "A Massacre in Jamaica" (New Yorker • Dec 2011)
  4. [20:15] The Philadelphia Independent
  5. [25:00] "The Hold-'Em Holdup" (New York Times Magazine • Jun 2006)
  6. [26:45] "The Trolls Among Us" (New York Times Magazine • Aug 2008)
  7. [26:45] "The Church of Warren Buffett" (Harper's • Jan 2010)
  8. [35:00] "The Golden Touch" (Harper's • Dec 2008)
  9. [36:00] The Big Con (David Maurer • Bobbs-Merrill Company • 1940)
  10. [36:30] "The Still Lives of Wells Tower" (Paul Maliszewski • The Brooklyn Rail • Feb 2011)
  11. [37:00] "Petroleum, Louisiana"
  12. [37:00] "How Fast Can He Cook a Chicken?" (London Review of Books • Oct 2011)
  13. [49:00] "Camp Justice" (Kindle Single • Nov 2012)
  14. [50:45] "A Mission Gone Wrong" (New Yorker • Jan 2014)
  15. [53:15] "The Truth of El Mozote" (Mark Danner • New Yorker • Dec 1993)

Wednesday, March 26

Longform Podcast #85: Tavi Gevinson

Tavi Gevinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie.

"I just want our readers to know that they are already smart enough and cool enough."

Thanks to this week's sponsors, TinyLetter and Atavist Books.


Show notes:

  1. @tavitulle
  2. Rookie
  3. thestylerookie.com
  4. [4:15] "Tavi Says" (Lizze Widdicombe • New Yorker • Sep 2010)
  5. [30:30] "A Teen Just Trying to Figure It Out" (TED • Mar 2012)
  6. [33:30] Rookie Yearbook Two (Drawn and Quarterly • Oct 2013)
  7. [39:45] Longform Podcast #75: George Saunders
  8. [43:15] "Super Heroine: An Interview with Lorde" (Rookie • Jan 2014)

Wednesday, March 19

Longform Podcast #84: Sabrina Rubin Erdely

Sabrina Rubin Erdely, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, has also written for GQ, Philadelphia and SELF.

"I think that people are, by their nature, good and want to act rightly. So I'm very interested in why people do these things that result in really bad actions. My lack of outrage actually is one of the things that probably helps me in my reporting because I really am propelled by this pure curiosity. ... I just want to know, 'Where did that come from?'"

Thanks to TinyLetter and PillPack for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

  1. @SabrinaRErdely
  2. sabrinaerdely.com
  3. Erdely on Longform
  4. [3:00] Longform Podcast #77: Dan P. Lee
  5. [3:00] Longform Podcast #24: Stephen Rodrick
  6. [12:45] "The Entrapment of Jesse Snodgrass" (Rolling Stone • Feb 2014)
  7. [17:15] "Kiki Kannibal: The Girl Who Played With Fire" (Rolling Stone • Apr 2011)
  8. [22:45] "The Rape of Petty Officer Blumer" (Rolling Stone • Feb 2013)
  9. [27:45] "One Town's War on Gay Teens" (Rolling Stone • Feb 2012)
  10. [34:45] "The Poorest Rich Kids in the World" (Rolling Stone • Aug 2013)
  11. [35:00] "About a Girl: Coy Mathis' Fight to Change Gender" (Rolling Stone • Oct 2013)
  12. [37:15] "The Catholic Church's Secret Sex-Crime Files" (Rolling Stone • Sep 2011)
  13. [51:45] "I'll Be Damned" (Philadelphia • Jun 1999) [pdf]
  14. [51:45] "Who Is the Boy in the Box?" (Philadelphia • Nov 2003) [pdf]
  15. [52:00] "Intimate Intimidation" (Philadelphia • Apr 1996) [pdf]
  16. [53:45] "Why I Finally Left" (Good Housekeeping • Mar 2011) [pdf]
  17. [1:00:15] "The Fabulous Fraudulent Life of Jocelyn and Ed" (Rolling Stone • Mar 2008) [pdf]
  18. [1:01:15] "The Girl Who Conned the Ivy League" (Rolling Stone • Jun 2009) [pdf]
  19. [1:02:30] "The Creep With the Golden Tongue" (GQ • Aug 2003) [pdf]

Wednesday, March 12

Longform Podcast #83, Part 2:
Lawrence Wright, Live from Austin

Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower and Going Clear, is a staff writer for The New Yorker.

"If I had the chance to interview Osama Bin Laden, should I kill him? It’s a fair question. Suppose we’re having dinner — should I stab him with the bread knife? Do I have a moral obligation to kill him? Or do I have a moral obligation as a reporter to simply hear him?"

Thanks to TinyLetter and PillPack for sponsoring this week's episode.


Show notes:

  1. lawrencewright.com
  2. @lawrence_wright
  3. Wright on Longform
  4. [6:00] Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Knopf • Jan 2013)
  5. [6:00] The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (Knopf • Aug 2006)
  6. [7:45] The Siege (Twentieth Century Fox • 1998)
  7. [14:45] "The Apostate" (The New Yorker • Feb 2011)
  8. [30:15] My Trip to Al-Qaeda (Jigsaw Productions • Apr 2010)