Personal Essay Filter
  1. Take a Break from December with the Year’s Best Longreads

    Shut out the hustle and bustle for 15 minutes, and dig into a good story.

    Journalism
  2. Why I Can’t Write a Good Personal Essay

    At Tenure, She Wrote, a grad student explains her decision no longer to write narratives of inspiration and gumption: “A little smarts and hard work and luck can’t make my chronically ill body ‘productive.’”

    Academia
  3. 1 in 7

    As Movember draws to a close, here’s Ross Murray’s unexpectedly hilarious post recounting his recent prostate-cancer diagnosis. (While you’re there, do check out Ross’s post-surgery update.)

    Health
  4. I Applied to 200 Jobs and All I Got Was This Moderate-Severe Depression

    “Like most ambitious English majors, I hoped I would find work in either teaching or writing after graduation. Long story short, I ended up graduating magna cum laude, won my department’s award, and learned that no one really wants to talk about E.M. Forster while playing beer pong. Go figure.”

    Academia
    Image from Flazingo Photos via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  5. Three Stories to Read this LGBT History Month

    From The Golden Girls to 17th-century London, these stories explore the rich layers of queer history.

    Commentary
    Berlin's memorial to the first gay emancipation movement. Image by Alorin via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)
  6. Jewel in the Jungle: Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs

    Deep in Panama’s rainforests, wildlife blogger David (aka the Incidental Naturalist), fulfills a childhood dream: to see the strawberry poison-dart frog in its natural habitat.

    Animals
  7. Why I Owe Everything to Jonathan Gold

    “Being a food writer is the most punk rock thing a person can do, and Jonathan Gold was the most punk rock of us all.” Javier Cabral pays homage to the legendary Los Angeles food writer, who was both his mentor and his role model.

    Current Events
    Illustration by Joaquin Hernandez
  8. 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
  9. Comics
  10. “Tony”: David Simon on Anthony Bourdain

    The creator of The Wire and Treme remembers his years of friendship and collaboration with the late Anthony Bourdain.

    Commentary
    Photo by Anna Hanks (CC BY 2.0)
  11. 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
  12. Acknowledgments

    “I still look towards the horizon. I remain restless. I continue to feel that there is something underneath me that defines me more than what I have done.” The author at Flowers for a Lab Mouse reflects on big writing projects as milestones, but not necessarily things that are life-defining.

    Authors
  13. Longreads on Motherhood: A Reading List

    Dive into four personal essays on motherhood.

    Essay
  14. 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
  15. Out of My Hands

    Author Jayne Martin on physical rehab after a fall: “It’s been almost three weeks and you are standing in between the parallel bars when Sandy says, ‘Okay, now let go and walk forward over to the wall.’ A cold chill snakes its way down your spine. ‘You can do this,’ she says.”

    Personal Essay