Thursday, October 24

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The Scratch Interview with Jonathan Franzen

“I mean, writers are horribly envious and so nobody likes stars, we always feel like it’s a zero-sum game and whatever stardom somebody else has is being taken directly from us, so we hate the stars. But we also need them. Because the possibility of some level of stardom is what will continue to attract new writers to the game. If you’re a linguistically talented 22-year-old, there’s a list of things you can be: you can work in Hollywood, you can be a blogger, etc. And if being a novelist equates to some quaint thing like being a Morris dancer, who’s going to choose this?”

Wednesday, October 23

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Lost Soul

The inspiring life and mysterious death of NBA player Bison Dele.

Longform Podcast #65: Elizabeth Wurtzel

Elizabeth Wurtzel is the author of four books, including Prozac Nation.

"It's not that hard to be a lawyer. Any fool can be a lawyer. It's really hard to be a writer. You have to be born with incredible amounts of talent. Then you have to work hard. Then you have to be able to handle tons of rejection and not mind it and just keep pushing away at it. You have to show up at people's doors. You can't just e-mail and text message people. You have to bang their doors down. You have to be interesting. You have to be fucking phenomenal to get a book published and then sell the book. When people think their writing career is not working out, it's not working out because it's so damn hard. It's not harder now than it was 20 years ago. It's just as hard. It was always hard."

Thanks to TinyLetter and EA SPORTS FIFA 14 for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show Notes »
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Confessions of a Drone Warrior

During his nearly six years in the Air Force, Airman First Class Brandon Bryant flew hundreds of missions and logged almost 6,000 hours of flight time. He killed or helped kill 1,626 people. And he never left Nevada.

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Facebook Feminism, Like It or Not

The capitalist evangelism of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In feminist manifesto.

Tuesday, October 22

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Mr. Misery

On the life and death of Elliott Smith.

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Enduring Exile

A family’s journey from Armenia to Syria and back again.

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On the Ground With Syria's News Smugglers

How citizen journalists are covering the war.

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Has David Birnbaum Solved The Mystery of Existence?

A jeweler from Queens tries to crack the code.

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Embracing The Void

A visit to Star Axis, a desert art installation that connects you to the cosmos.

Monday, October 21

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The War of Rape

Jamie Leigh Jones’s story of gang-rape in Iraq changed the law to help victims, even though she might not have been one herself.