Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reading the Long Way into 2016

There were a lot of great essays published in 2015. In the Twitter era, accused as it is of attention-deficit reading, long-form journalism has held its own. We still write and read sentences longer than 140 characters and blogs longer than 800 words.

Memorable among the long reads of 2015 include Amy Wallaces's (Wired magazine) stunning examination of Sci-Fi's Hugo Awards and the Battle for Pop Culture's Soul. It's about nerd-on-nerd violence, identity politics, and what's at stake for science fiction.

Then there was Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose Atlantic essay on The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration continued his long, convincing, and damning exposé of our failure to make reparations for slavery, which has led in many ways to the current crisis of our criminal justice system. Also powerful was a summary, at year's end, by Colin Daileda's of the significance of #blacklivesmatter: How Black Lives Matters Force America to Face Racism Once More.

I have attempted and failed to read Karl Knausgaard's long novels, so popular in Norway and now translated into English as My Struggle. I know a lot of people who are reading him. Along with half of Norway. But here's a chance to take him in a smaller dose, a review in the New York Times book review,

A lot was written about refugees in 2015. Especially poignant in my reading experience was the Oxford American essay by Michelle García on a young boy crossing the Texas border.

This was the year a Frank Lloyd Wright House was rebuilt, piece by piece, in Northwest, Arkansas. This architectural essay includes some fascinating photos of the process.

Probably the biggest news story of 2015 in science, if not the biggest news story period, is about gene-editing.

Genuinely one of the most wonderful and strange things of the year, a man who sells his wife's clothes to build a Christmas village in the basement.

Continuing the hacker mystique:

And remember, as loud as this year was, we finally gained marriage equality in the United States!

For more great examples of long-form in 2015, mosey on over to Longreads for their review of 2015.

And please, submit your favorite essays in the comments!

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Foreign Politics:

    Domestic Politics: