Longform

By Longform

About this podcast   English    United States

A weekly conversation with a non-fiction writer about how they got their start and how they tell stories. Co-produced by Longform and The Atavist.
In this podcast
June 20, 2018
Helen Rosner is a food correspondent at The New Yorker. “I believe the things that are really important to me are structure over all and—forgive me, I’ve said this on other podcasts before—if I were going to get a tattoo this is what I would get a tattoo of is that it doesn’t matter what you say, it only matters what they hear. It’s my job to make sure the gulf between those two things is as narrow as possible and there’s as little ambiguity between what I say and what you hear. It’s never easy, but it’s certainly easier in the realm of arguable objectivity. To create emotion in a reader requires a huge amount of really thoughtful work on the part of the writer in a way that forces you as a writer to remove yourself from the emotion you’re creating in the reader. If I to set you up for sadness, I have to create emotional stakes. I have to create investment in whoever I’m talking about or whatever the story’s about. The craft of making stakes and setting up a potential downfall, a potential loss, whatever it may be I think is not something you can do well if you’re feeling the feeling you’re trying to create in the reader.” Thanks to MailChimp, Read This Summer, and You Can't Make This Up for sponsoring this week's episode. Also: very rare, very exclusive Longform Podcast t-shirts are still available! @helsn Rosner on Longform Helen Rosner's official site Helen Rosner's archive at The New Yorker [06:15] Menu Pages [08:40] Helen Rosner's archive at New York Magazine [12:35] Helen Rosner's archive at Saveur [19:40] "The Exquisite Blankness (and Highly Suspect Guacamole) of Antoni Porowski from 'Queer Eye'" (The New Yorker • Mar 2018) [32:10] "The Best Time I Got a Bikini Wax" (The Hairpin • Mar 2011) [33:15] Helen Rosner's archive at Eater [38:30] "There’s nothing good in cooking, but there are no other options." (Sandra Zhao • Eater • Aug 2016) [40:20] "One Night at Kachka" (Erin DeJesus with Danielle Centoni and Jen Stevenson • Eater • Jun 2015) [49:55] "On Chicken Tenders" (Guernica Mag • Jun 2015) [51:00] The Boundaries of Taste [1:06:10] The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster • Random House • 1961) [1:16:20] "An MSG Convert Visits the High Church of Umami" (The New Yorker • Apr 2018) [1:16:30] "Christ in the Garden of Endless Breadsticks" (Eater • Oct 2017)
June 13, 2018
Reeves Wiedeman is a reporter at New York. “I think the main reason I love the job is reporting. And the fact that you get to go out into situations that you wouldn’t otherwise as your job. I’m someone who gets antsy if I’m just on a vacation sitting around. I’d much rather go somewhere weird and kind of have a purpose. So, just feeling like you can kind of go anywhere and see anything and talk to anyone is a pretty cool way to live your day.” Thanks to MailChimp, Pitt Writers, Thermacell, and Best Self for sponsoring this week's episode. @reeveswiedeman Wiedeman on Longform Wiedeman's archive at New York Magazine Wiedeman's archive at The New Yorker [01:10] “The Sand Hook Hoax” (New York Magazine • Sep 2017) [04:00] “The Dirtbag Left’s Man in Syria” (New York Magazine • Apr 2017) [04:05] “Gray Hat” (New York Magazine • Mar 2018) [09:25] Brian Krebs on Security [09:30] Motherboard [16:35] “The Rockefellers vs. the Company That Made Them Rockefellers” (New York Magazine • Jan 2018) [19:20] Kansas City Star [30:05] “The Great Whiskey Heist” (Men's Journal • Jan 2016) [31:10] “A Full Revolution” (The New Yorker • May 2016) [31:45] “Meet the Prom Queen of Instagram” (New York Magazine • Sep 2015) [34:10] Chronicle of Higher Education [37:35] “The Dime Store Floor” (David Owen • The New Yorker • Jan 2010)
June 6, 2018
Elif Batuman is a novelist and a staff writer at The New Yorker. Her latest article is “Japan’s Rent-a-Family Industry.” “I hear novelists say things sometimes like the character does something they don’t expect. It’s like talking to people who have done ayahuasca or belong to some cult. That’s how I felt about it until extremely recently. All of these people have drunk some kind of Kool Aid where they’re like, ‘I’m in this trippy zone where characters are doing things.’ And I would think to myself, if they were men—Wow, this person has devised this really ingenious way to avoid self-knowledge. If they were women, I would think—Wow, this woman has found an ingenious way to become complicit in her own bullying and silencing. It’s only kind of recently—and with a lot of therapy actually—that I’ve come to see that there is a mode of fiction that I can imagine participating in where, once I’ve freed myself of a certain amount of stuff I feel like I have to write about, which has gotten quite large by this point, it would be fun to make things up and play around.” Thanks to MailChimp, , and Skillshare for sponsoring this week's episode. Also: Longform Podcast t-shirts are available for just a few more days! @BananaKarenina Batuman on Longform Batuman's archive at The New Yorker Batuman's archive at Harper's Batuman's archive at London Review of Books Longform Podcast t-shirts [2:30] “Japan’s Rent-a-Family Industry” (The New Yorker • Apr 2018) [12:10] The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (Farrar, Straus and Giroux • 2010) [12:15] The Demons (Fyodor Dostoevsky • The Russian Messenger • 1812) [13:25] The Idiot (Penguin Book • 2017) [16:20] Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel (Lennard Davis • Columbia University Press • 1983) [22:20] The Exception (Christian Jungersen • Anchor • 2008) [23:30] The End of the Story: A Novel (Lydia Davis • Picador • 2004) [29:15] Culture and Imperialism (Edward Said • Vintage • 1994) [29:55] Either/Or: A Fragment of Life (Soren Kierkegaard • Victor Eremita • 1843) [30:35] Nadja (Andre Breton • Grove Press • 1960) [40:50] Scrivener
May 30, 2018
Leon Neyfakh is a writer and the host of Slow Burn. “We didn’t want to be coy about why we were doing the show. We wanted to be up front. We’re interested in this era because it seems like the last time in our nation’s history where things were this wild and the news was this rapid fire and the outcome was this uncertain. That was the main parallel we were thinking about when we started. It was only when we started learning the story and identified the turning points we kept running into these obvious parallels. We mostly didn’t lean into them. We didn’t chase them. There wasn’t a quota of parallels per episode.” Thanks to MailChimp, MUBI, and Thermacell for sponsoring this week's episode. Also: Longform Podcast t-shirts are now available for a limited time only! @leoncrawl Leon Neyfakh on Longform Longform Podcast t-shirts [02:05] Slow Burn [03:00] The Next Next Level (Melville House • 2015) [20:55] All the President's Men (Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein • Simon & Schuster • 1974) [22:05] Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years (J. Anthony Lukas • Viking • 1976) [22:05] Wars of Watergate (Stanley Kutler • Norton • 1992) [22:15] The Dick Cavett Show [30:25] Leon Neyfakh's archive at New York Observer [31:40] “Three HarperCollins Imprints Face Off For $2.5 Million Sarah Silverman Book” (Observer • Nov 2008) [38:40] “The Sadness of T-Pain” (The New Yorker • Mar 2004) [38:45] “Peak Drake” (The Fader • Sep 2015) [38:50] “Rae of Light” (Maxim • Apr 2015) [38:55] “Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire's Music Biz Misadventures” (Rolling Stone • Jun 2014) [47:15] “Who Will Survive When Migos Meets Big Data?” (The Fader • Nov 2014)
May 23, 2018
James Fallows, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, and Deborah Fallows, a linguist and writer, are the co-authors of Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America. “The credo of reporting—you know, what you don’t know till you show it—that’s my 'this-I-believe.' That’s the reason I’ve stayed in this line of work for this many decades because there’s nothing more fascinating that you can do but to serially satisfy your curiosity about things. What’s it like on an aircraft carrier? What’s it like in a Chinese coalmine? What’s it like in a giant data center in Wyoming? What is it like in all of these things? And journalism gives you a structural excuse to go do those.” Thanks to MailChimp, MUBI, Best Self Journal, and Thermacell for sponsoring this week's episode. Also: Longform Podcast t-shirts are now available! @JamesFallows @FallowsDeb James Fallows on Longform Longform Podcast t-shirts [02:15] Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America (Pantheon • 2018) [09:25] The Reinvention of America (New Yorker • May 2018) [19:40] James Fallows's archive at The Atlantic [27:20] Tears of Autum (Charles McCarry • E.P. Dutton • 1974) [34:35] James Fallows's archive at Washington Monthly [38:20] "Lloyd Bentsen: Can Another Texan Apply?" (The Atlantic • Dec 1974) [44:05] “The Passionless Presidency” (The Atlantic • May 1979) [58:25] Redlands Daily Facts [58:45] The Morning Call [59:05] Seven Days [59:15] Erie Reader
May 16, 2018
Sheila Heti is the author of seven books. Her latest is Motherhood: A Novel. “[My parents] were afraid for me. As anybody who has a kid who wants to be a writer. I think they understood it was a hard life. It was a life in which you wouldn’t necessarily make enough money. It was a life in which you might be setting yourself up for a great amount of disappointment. My dad’s father was a painter, so there was in him this idea that it wasn’t so crazy to him. It wasn’t so outside his understanding. And, yeah, my mom thought it was a bad idea. And it probably is a bad idea in a lot of ways, but my dad was supportive but also cautioning. I think the book really moved [my mom] and really had an effect on her, so maybe you understand that it’s not necessarily a frivolous thing to be doing. Maybe it’s not just playing. I think my mom always had this idea that writing is playing, and it is playing, but it’s a serious kind of playing.” Thanks to MailChimp, MUBI, and Tripping.com for sponsoring this week's episode. @sheilaheti Heti on Longform [01:40] How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life (Henry Holt and Co. • 2012) [01:45] Motherhood: A Novel (Henry Holt and Co. • 2018) [2:50] Sheila Heti’s archive at The Believer [07:30] The Middle Stories (McSweeny’s • 2012) [07:35] Ticknor (House of Anansi Press • 2005) [09:10] Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles (Jennifer Baichwal • Zeitgeist Films • 2003) [36:50] Emergency Contact (Mary H. K. Choi • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers • 2018) [42:35] Da Ali G Show (Sacha Baron Cohen • Channel 4 • 2000) [46:00] "Finding Raffi" (New York Magazine • Dec 2015)
May 9, 2018
Adam Davidson is a staff writer at The New Yorker. “I am as shocked this moment that Trump was elected as I was the moment he was elected. That fundamental state of shock. It’s like there’s a pile of putrid, rotting human feces on a table and like six of the people around the table are like, ‘That is disgusting.’ And four are like ‘Oh it’s so delicious. Oh, I love it. It’s delicious.’ And I keep saying, ‘Well, why do you like it?’ ... Trump is not a very interesting person in my mind. He’s a very simple, one of the most simple public figures ever. And his business is complex that in that it’s lots of people doing lots of things, but the fundamental nature of it is not that mysterious. So, it is a challenge to keep me engaged, but I’m engaged. And then as a citizen, I’ve never been more engaged.” Thanks to MailChimp for sponsoring this week's episode. @adamdavidson [0:21] Adam Davidson's archive at The New Yorker [00:35] The Big Short (Paramount• 2015) [00:43] Surprisingly Awesome podcast archive at Gimlet Media [00:47] Planet Money [00:51] WBEZ Chicago [00:53] This American Life [0:55] Adam Davidson’s archive at Harper’s [01:35] "Donald Trump’s Worst Deal" (The New Yorker • Mar 2017) [04:15] "Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency" (The New Yorker • Apr 2018) [26:17] Adam Davidson’s archive at NPR [31:48] Marketplace [34:44] Ben Taub on Longform [39:48] "Making It In America" (The Atlantic• Jan 2012) [41:42] Ira Glass’s Archive at This American Life [42:37] Thriveal Podcast [45:19] Zoe Chace on Longform [45:35] Losers: The Road to Everyplace but the White House (Michael Lewis • Vintage • 1998) [51:13] We The Economy (Cinelan• 2015)
May 2, 2018
Lauren Hilgers is a journalist and the author of Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown. “You just need to spend a lot of time with people. And it’s awkward. I read something when I was first starting out as a journalist in China, ‘Make a discipline out of being uncomfortable.’ I think that’s very helpful. You’re going to feel uncomfortable a lot of the time, and just decide to be okay with it and just keep going with it.” Thanks to MailChimp, Substack, and Skillshare for sponsoring this week's episode. @lehilgers Hilgers on Longform [01:10] "The Kitchen Network" (The New Yorker • Oct 2014) [02:00] Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown (Crown • 2018) [39:55] "The Unraveling of Bo Xilai" (Harper’s Magazine • March 2013)  
April 25, 2018
Charlie Warzel is a senior tech writer for BuzzFeed. “Part of the big tech reckoning that we’re seeing since the election isn’t really about the election, it isn’t really about Trump or politics. It’s more about this idea that: Wow, these services have incredibly real consequences in our everyday lives. I think that realization is really profound and is going to shape how we try to figure out what it means to be online from here on out. To keep stories relevant, we have to keep that in mind and try to figure out how to speak to that audience and guide them through that reckoning.” Thanks to MailChimp and Tripping.com for sponsoring this week's episode. @cwarzel Warzel on Longform [01:45] Stoner [01:45] Coin Talk [06:25] Warzel’s BuzzFeed Archive [10:20] "Pornhub Banned Deepfake Celebrity Sex Videos, But The Site Is Still Full Of Them" (BuzzFeed • April 2018) [11:50] "The Disturbing Misogynist History Of GamerGate's Goodwill Ambassadors" (Joseph Berstein • BuzzFeed • Oct 2014) [13:05] "Here's How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream" (Joseph Berstein • BuzzFeed • Oct 2017) [19:00] "YouTube Is Addressing Its Massive Child Exploitation Problem" (BuzzFeed • Nov 2017) [25:30] "Trump's Antagonistic Tweet Tests The Limits of Twitter's Rules" (BuzzFeed • Dec 2016) [26:35] "Inside The Chaotic Battle To Be The Top Reply To A Trump Tweet" (BuzzFeed • June 2017) [27:45] "Alex Jones Just Can't Help Himself" (BuzzFeed • May 2017) [27:55] Longform Podcast #129: Rukmini Callimachi (Part 1) [32:45] "The Case For Interviewing Alex Jones" (BuzzFeed • June 2017) [38:55] "Scammers Are Impersonating Elon Musk And Donald Trump To Take Your Bitcoin" (Ryan Mac, Charlie Warzel • BuzzFeed • Feb 2018)
April 18, 2018
Michelle Dean is a journalist and critic. Her new book is Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion. “There isn’t one answer. I wish there was one answer. The answer is: You just have to wing it. And I’m learning that — I’m learning to be okay with the winging it. ... I guess the lesson to me of what went on with a lot of women in the book is: You have to be comfortable with the fact that some days are going to be good, and some days are going to not be good.” Thanks to MailChimp for sponsoring this week's episode. @michelledean michelledean.tumblr.com Dean on Longform [00:45] Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion (Grove Press • 2018) [01:35] "Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom To Be Murdered" (Buzzfeed • Aug 2016) [08:10] annefriedman.com [08:50] "The Daily Show's Woman Problem" (Irin Carmon • Jezebel • June 2010) [09:20] "Someone Got 'The Daily Show' in My Jezebel and Together They Taste A Little Weird" (The Awl • July 2010) [15:20] "Waterworld Review" (KillerMovies • July 1995) [20:25] Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace (D. T. Max • Penguin Books • 2013) [20:35] "A Supposedly True Thing Jonathan Franzen Said About David Foster Wallace" (The Awl • Oct 2011) [26:25] "The Perils of Pauline" (Renata Adler • The New York Review of Books • Aug 1980) [28:30] "How Unauthorized Is the New Book About Harper Lee?" (Gawker • July 2014) [31:05] Dean’s Archive on The Guardian [30:20] How Should A Person Be (Sheila Heti • Picador • 2013) [35:30] "True Lives" (James Wood • The New Yorker • June 2012) [35:40] "Listening to Women" (Slate • June 2012) [40:30] Longform Podcast #156: Renatta Adler [51:05] Mommy Dead and Dearest (Erin Lee Carr • 2017) [51:15] Longform Podcast #248: Erin Lee Carr [64:00] Gerard Manley Hopkins

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