Friday, April 24

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Close Your Heart

Two brothers divided by Central African Republic’s civil war.

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“Do You Understand That Your Baby Goes Away and Never Comes Back?”

In Arkansas, a small cottage industry of lawyers arranges adoptions of the babies of Marshall Islands immigrants. But are parents only giving up their children based on a cultural misunderstanding?

Thursday, April 23

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A Deadly Dance

A doctor loses the woman of his dreams and hires a broke friend to help get her back. The plan is to prank her new boyfriend. Today, they’re in jail for murder.

Previously: The Longform Guide to Skip Hollandsworth
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The Strange Experience of Having My Memoir Turned Into a Movie

Most people think they’d be thrilled to have their memoir snapped up for a movie. The author had a different, more troubled experience.

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Fiction Pick of the Week: "Peacetime"

An Iraq War veteran, now a paramedic, runs into trouble.

"I rewarded the man with another hit of naloxone, which made him even more alive, even less happy. Karen was busy with the gear, and I thought for sure that the coast was clear. It wasn’t. As soon as I put the note in my pocket, I saw the boy. He stood in the doorway, watching me with a basically impassive expression. He chewed his gum. He blew a splendid bubble."

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Trapped Into Selling Magazines Door-to-Door

Inside the abusive practices of magazine-subscription sub-contractors.

Wednesday, April 22

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“Have You Ever Thought About Killing Someone?”

Doc was a medical student in his 40s, but he spent his nights with the teenagers who hung around his San Antonion apartment complex, buying them drugs and booze. The first time he asked one of them to ritualistically kill him, they laughed it off. He would ask again.

Longform Podcast #138: Alexis Okeowo

Alexis Okeowo, a foreign correspondent, has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Businessweek.

“Nigeria is a deeply sexist country. It can be difficult for people to take you seriously. But that also has its benefits, because it’s very easy to disarm your subjects. If I’m interviewing people who underestimate me, I can get them to open up because they somehow think that I’m naïve or I don’t know what I’m doing. So I don’t mind if some sexist general or banker thinks I’m this young little student who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. As long as you tell me what I want to know, it’s great.”

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

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The Whistleblower’s Tale

When an accountant decided to call foul on Halliburton’s financial record-keeping, he thought he was doing the right thing. He spent 10 years fighting for the courts to agree.

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The Catastrophe

Tracking Spalding Grey’s descent towards suicide.

Tuesday, April 21

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Anchorman: The Legend of Don Lemon

The CNN anchor may not be the clueless bumbler the internet believes him to be.

Previously: Brodesser-Akner on the Longform Podcast.
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Putin's Action Hero

When Putin suggested to Obama that the White House and the Kremlin speak through an intermediary, he named who he thought was the obvious candidate: his friend Steven Seagal.