Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Well, No Pictures

Is there anything I don't love about the anual Best American Magazine Writing editions? The best magazine articles of the year, offered up in one wonderful package. It's simplicity at its best, really. This year's edition was as good as its predecessors. The highlights, for me:

China’s Instant Cities, Peter Hessler, National Geographic
An engaging, detail-laden, very in-the-moment look at the economic explosion in China, as seen through the test case of a man and his uncle opening up a factory to make bra straps.

The Black Sites, Jane Mayer, The New Yorker
A harrowing, anger-up-the-blood look at workers at a nuclear weapons facility who years later start coming down with cancer, and the government that denies any connection.

Specialist Town Takes His Case to Washington, Joshua Kors, The Nation
The tale of an Iraq War veteran (representing hundreds of others) denied benefits for post-traumatic stress-related conditions because the government claims they stem from a "pre-existing condition." More blood-angering.

City of Fear, William Langewiesche, Vanity Fair
Langewiesche is my favorite journalist, and he pops up in these things like clockwork. This year's piece, an in-depth look at the cultureof an omnipresent prison gang in Brazil is remarkable in how it both condemns and looks honeslty at the gang.

“You Have Thousands of Angels Around You,” Paige Williams, Atlanta
A heart-stirring and -breaking look at a young refugee from Africa taken in by a family in Georgia.

Babes in the Woods, Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic
A creepy look at how the on-line world has made stalking teens so very, very easy.

Underworld, Jeanne Marie Laskas, GQ
A close and personal look at the otherworldly world of coal mining.

Until Whenever

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