John Jeremiah Sullivan

20 articles
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The Ill-Defined Plot

On the origin of the essay.

Excerpted from Best American Essays 2014.

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Donald Antrim and the Art of Anxiety

A profile of the novelist, who is surprised to be alive.

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The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie

On the trail of the phantom women who changed American music and vanished without a trace.

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Back in the Day

On Michael Jackson’s talent.

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That Chop on the Upbeat

Investigating ska’s moment of conception.

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Leaving Reality

Life after The Real World.

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Mister Lytle: An Essay

Memories of living with the writer Andrew Lytle late in his life.

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Upon This Rock

A visit to the Christian rock Cross-Over Festival in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.

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Where Is Cuba Going?

A nation’s uncertain future.

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Venus and Serena Against the World

The liberation of the Williams sisters.

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Chris Bell: That Don't Get Him Back Again

Listening to the Big Star songwriter, who left the group before dying in a solo car crash at 27.

His voice, on the recordings, is too sensitive. That's meant not as an aesthetic judgment. It wasn't too sensitive for the material, in other words. It was too sensitive for life. You listen to him sing, closely, and if you don't know another thing about what happened to him, you know that the guy with that voice is not going to last.