Longreads Filter
  1. Queens of Infamy: The Rise of Catherine de’ Medici

    At Longreads, Anne Thériault wittily chronicles the early trials and tribulations of Renaissance queen Catherine de’ Medici, from her childhood in war-ravaged Florence to the first few years of her fraught marriage with the heir to the French throne.

    Essay
    Illustration by Louise Pomeroy.
  2. The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Perfume

    Sometimes it takes a touch of darkness (from the “glandular sacs of dead musk deer” to particularly putrid flowers) to create something alluring.

    Culture
  3. In Search of Beirut’s Collective Memory

    Journalist Iain Akerman follows Mona El Hallak, a Lebanese architect and activist, as she tries to reconstruct facets of the city’s past through the archive of a long-defunct photographer’s studio.

    Culture
  4. A Beast for the Ages

    Why do we love (and fear, and kill) polar bears with so much intensity? At Longreads, Michael Engelhard, a wilderness guide and anthropologist, looks into the Arctic predator’s grip on our imagination.

    Animals
  5. In Sudan, Rediscovering Ancient Nubia Before It’s Too Late

    At Undark, Amy Maxmen follows the archaeologists and scientists who are racing to document what’s left of the ancient African civilization of Nubia.

    Culture
    Photo by Neil Brandvold (Undark)
  6. The Country Where Fútbol Comes First

    If you love soccer, you probably enjoy a good underdog story. Here’s Uruguay’s: a small country with a rich World Cup legacy, which Candace Rose Rardon lovingly retells in her illustrated essay on Longreads.

    Culture
  7. Forgetting the Madeleine

    At Longreads, Paris-based pastry chef Frances Leech reflects on taste, memory, and literature’s most famous confection: the humble madeleine, immortalized in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

    Cooking
  8. Nature Boys from the ’Hood

    “Mountain Buddha” at The Buddha Blog profiles Pierre and Jon, two hikers from the city who have fallen in love with the mountains. The current adventure takes them through an isolated stretch of New England’s back country.

    Exploration
  9. Rewriting the Story of the Starving Armenian

    Liana Aghajanian on the food traditions of Armenian-Americans: “Having lost property, cultural heritage, and identity in addition to the millions who were killed, food became the most transportable cultural marker that could be made tangible with the right ingredients, as Armenians were forced to migrate across the world.” 

    Cooking
  10. Longreads on Motherhood: A Reading List

    Dive into four personal essays on motherhood.

    Essay
  11. My name is Wil Wheaton. I live with chronic depression, and I am not ashamed.

    “At that moment, I realized that I had lived my life in a room that was so loud, all I could do every day was deal with how loud it was. But with the help of my wife, my doctor, and medical science, I found a doorway out of that room.”

    Health
    Image via wilwheaton.net
  12. How Do We Write Now?

    Patricia Lockwood on writing in a time of distractions: “The feeling you get after hours of scrolling that all your thoughts have been replaced with cotton candy . . . as opposed to the feeling of being open to poetry, to being inside the poem, which is the feeling of being honey in the hive.”

    Essay
  13. What Does Sustainable, Fair Trade Coffee Mean?

    Shannon O’Donnell at A Little Adrift explores what “sustainably produced” really means: “I will spend more to ensure that the root communities behind our goods are treated with respect. Stemming from my physical journey to understand coffee came a new journey to match my actions to my belief in our shared humanity and the common good.”

    Culture
  14. Coachella, Underground

    “But the festival has little bearing on the lives of people on the valley’s east side, except perhaps as a reminder of how easy it is to not see them.” Investigative journalist Gabriel Thompson explores the lives of Latinos and the undocumented in California’s Coachella Valley, a region known for its annual music festival.

    Current Events
    Illustration by Kate Gavino
  15. On Fear

    Writer and political organizer Alex Press on fear: “It’s hard to imagine such a state of mind, writing from the present. Ours feels like a time of fear, defined by it much as I was then defined by its absence.”

    Abuse