Friday, May 6

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Don DeLillo: The Art of Fiction No. 135

We have a rich literature. But sometimes it’s a literature too ready to be neutralized, to be incorporated into the ambient noise. This is why we need the writer in opposition, the novelist who writes against power, who writes against the corporation or the state or the whole apparatus of assimilation. We’re all one beat away from becoming elevator music.
Plus: Our complete collection of Paris Review interviews.
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"You Want a Description of Hell?"

Purdue Pharma’s marketing materials say OxyContin works for 12 hours. It doesn’t. And this problem, long-denied by the drugmaker, is what makes it highly addictive.

Thursday, May 5

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If You Don't Think Paul Manafort Can Get Trump Elected, You Don't Know Paul Manafort

Trump’s key adviser is a lobbyist known for reinventing tyrants.

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Rent: The Oral History

The story of the landmark musical’s improbable success.

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Fiction Pick of the Week: "Gory Special"

A backyard wrestling match; an examination of different young lives.

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The Amateur Cloud Society That (Sort Of) Rattled the Scientific Community

A cloud enthusiast becomes an advocate for a new type of cloud.

Wednesday, May 4

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Get Gronk’d!

All aboard the maiden voyage Rob Gronkowski’s party cruise.

Previously: The Longform Guide to Cruises

Longform Podcast #191: Kelly McEvers

Kelly McEvers, a former war correspondent, hosts NPR's All Things Considered and the podcast Embedded.

“Listeners want you to be real, a real person. Somebody who stumbles and fails sometimes. I think the more human you are, the more people can then relate to you. The whole point is not so everybody likes me, but it’s so people will want to take my hand and come along. It's so they feel like they trust me enough to come down the road with me. To do that, I feel like you need to be honest and transparent about what that road’s like.”

Thanks to MailChimp, Audible, and Squarespace for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show Notes »
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How It Ends

On settling in Los Angeles after life as a war correspondent in the Middle East.

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Downtown Is for People

On the then-new phenomenon of dead downtowns.

“It is not only for amenity but for economics that choice is so vital. Without a mixture on the streets, our downtowns would be superficially standardized, and functionally standardized as well. New construction is necessary, but it is not an unmixed blessing: its inexorable economy is fatal to hundreds of enterprises able to make out successfully in old buildings. Notice that when a new building goes up, the kind of ground-floor tenants it gets are usually the chain store and the chain restaurant. Lack of variety in age and overhead is an unavoidable defect in large new shopping centers and is one reason why even the most successful cannot incubate the unusual--a point overlooked by planners of downtown shopping-center projects.”
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Inside the Unregulated Chinese Hospitals That Make Men Impotent

Four men stood on the edge of the Shenzhen Health and Family Planning Commission, threatening to jump in protest. They referred to themselves as “China’s 21st century eunuchs,” damaged by medically-dubious surgeries.

Tuesday, May 3

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The Nazi Underground

Treasure hunters still scour Lower Silesia in search of legendary wartime riches.