I am returning to work after maternity leave and it feels great to be writing again. My profile of Steve Bannon, a New Statesman cover story, went to press the day after my baby was born so it was only fitting that my first piece back at work should be about Bannon’s White House exit. I also wrote for NS about how emojis are changing the way we use language, and about how google search data reveals an ugly side to American society. I am so excited to be starting work on a few longer projects too.
While on maternity leave I started listening to many more podcasts. If you haven’t listened to S-Town yet, it is some of the finest narrative nonfiction I have ever come across. I listen to The Daily, well, daily for a morning dose of current affairs and because Michael Barbaro is such a fine interviewer: quick-thinking and incisive without being confrontational. My baby and I are both soothed by his voice, too. Pod Save America, Pod Save the World and the New Yorker podcasts are also all fantastic.
And, in no particular order, here are some longform pieces that have entertained and inspired me this month:
- Seven Days of Heroin, Cincinnati Inquirer: public journalism at its best
- George Osborne’s Revenge, Esquire: masterful profile-writing
- Two Paths for the Personal Essay, Boston Review: great writing about writing
- The Falling Man, Esquire: poignant to revisit
- A Rape on Campus: What Went Wrong, Rolling Stone & UVA: I should have read this ages ago. An anatomy of a journalistic failure and a useful cautionary tale for any writer or editor.
- Parents Who Pay to Be Watched, The Cut: nuts!
- The Princess Myth, The Guardian: Hilary Mantel on Diana
- The Boy Who Killed – And the Mother Who Tried to Stop Him, The Guardian: moving reporting on the knife crime epidemic
- How to Get Away With Murder in Small Town India, NYT: excellent foreign reportage