Wednesday, September 4

Longform Podcast #58: Sarah Stillman

Sarah Stillman is a staff writer for The New Yorker.

"People don't really care about issues so much as they care about the stories and the characters that bring those issues to life. ... A story needs an engine or something to propel you forward and it can't just be a collection of like, 'Oh hmm, this was interesting over here and this was interesting over there.' Realizing that helped me sit down with all my stuff on trafficking and labor abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan and say 'What are the five craziest things that I found here and how could I weave them together in a way that would actually have some forward motion?'"

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

Show Notes »
Avatar_57x57

What's Killing Poor White Women?

They have lost five years of life expectancy and no one knows why.

Avatar_57x57

Return to the Rainforest

The son of an American anthropologist returns to the Amazon to reunite with his mother, an indigenous tribeswoman.

Tuesday, September 3

Avatar_57x57

The Secret Life of Nuns

What prompts a woman to exit society and marry God? Inside a modern convent in Texas.

Avatar_57x57

The Strange Story of Skype

How a group of serial entrepreneurs with an already impressive string of hits changed the way the world talks.

Avatar_57x57

Enemy Inside the Wire: The Untold Story of the Battle of Bastion

An account of the night last September when 15 Taliban, dressed as American soldiers, snuck onto one of the largest air bases in Afghanistan.

Avatar_57x57

Harnessing the Power of Feedback Loops

How real-time information can make you a better human.

Monday, September 2

Avatar_57x57

Varieties of Disturbance

A profile of Claire Danes.

Avatar_57x57

Searching for Robert Johnson

The legacy of a phantom bluesman.

Sunday, September 1

Avatar_57x57

On the Thomas Pynchon Trail

“Now Pynchon hides in plain sight, on the Upper West Side, with a family and a history of contradictions: a child of the postwar Establishment determined to reject it; a postmodernist master who’s called himself a ‘classicist’; a workaholic stoner; a polymath who revels in dirty puns; a literary outsider who’s married to a literary agent; a scourge of capitalism who sent his son to private school and lives in a $1.7 million prewar classic six.”

Avatar_57x57

The Magic Jews

Adventures with a group of young Hasidic men looking for God in psychedelic drugs.

Saturday, August 31

Avatar_57x57

City of the Lost

Life inside Za’atari, a camp for Syrian refugees just across the Jordanian border, where “the dispossession is absolute. Everyone has lost his country, his home, his equilibrium. Most have lost a family member or a friend. What is left is a kind of theatrical pride, the necessary performance of will.”