My understanding of what it means to be a publisher has been skewed ever since I first heard the word. My mom was reading A Wrinkle in Time to me—I must have been around 8—when she explained that my great-grandfather had published the book. She told me how Madeleine L'Engle had taken the story of Meg Murry, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe to publisher after publisher, only to repeatedly be rejected. After being turned down by 26 or so houses, the book came to my mom’s grandfather, who read it and loved it, but "was afraid of it," L'Engle later said. He did say he would buy the book, [...]
The idea that there is an appropriate subject for a Vogue cover is a concept that Vogue invented. The years and years of white, able-bodied, skinny and young models and actresses have trained us to instinctively notice what is and isn't Vogue. There is the occasional diversion if the Academy Awards/Grammys/culture demands; but often when Vogue puts aside its insistence that only one kind of beauty exists in order to recognize a different kind of beauty, they do something worse, like the LeBron James cover with Gisele, which was maybe not an overtly racist decision, but certainly an editorial decision that reflected implicitly racist beliefs about the way a [...]
One of the most obscene things I learned as a barista was how eager people are to be liked. NYU sophomores, the ones with Jansport backpacks in full makeup at 9 a.m., stuttered their orders and shyly complimented me on my nose ring. I semi-patiently listened to innumerable Wikipedia-style monologues about the music I was playing from men in their twenties trying to render their business attire invisible with cultural know-how. I was given zines, mixtape-party fliers, home-recorded chillwave demos.
I said things like "How’s the app going?" and "Welcome to the neighborhood." I answered questions for new Greenpoint residents—of which there were more each year—about the best place [...]
One in an irregular series of profiles of fabulous older women.
The first time I met Adele Daniller, she kept offering me food. This was several years ago, at her home in Tarzana, CA, in what Los Angeles people call "the Valley." I’d come to Daniller’s house with her daughter, Lydia Daniller, a photographer friend. After refusing a few rounds of snacks, I got up to go to the bathroom and ended up wandering through the Daniller’s living room. It was a hot afternoon, and the lights were off. The cool, dark room felt soothing. On every wall and in every nook was art: sculptures, framed [...]
Perhaps you are on your way to the gym, listening to some hip-pop anthem to get the blood going. You think: yeah, that sounds good. "We are gonna run this town tonight." "I do want that cake cake cake cake."
There is a slight slippage of ego as you meld with the persona in the song—staring into the mirror to find you are mouthing out a rogue, “Westside!,” or whispering with a little too much conviction: "I am a god." A glittery EDM beat comes in, lifting you up, rollercoaster style, to the bridge of the track, where, adrenaline spiking, you become your true self—which is to say, [...]
In the few weeks before the auditions there was a bubbling sense of excitement which reminded me of the beginning of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. A huge film enterprise, thus far closed to mere mortals, was to let two chosen people not only appear in the film but also perhaps take on lead roles.
I was working at my receptionist job at a local community center in Edinburgh the morning it was announced that Disney and Lucasfilm were holding open auditions for a ‘Major Hollywood Movie.’
"I’m too old, dammit," said Victoria, of the cafe volunteers, "and also they want beautiful, so that [...]
Longreads wants you to become a member. What do you get? The thing I like best is exclusives: advances on stories before publication. Also I like it when some weirdo I don't know recommends a bunch of stories that maybe I haven't seen before. I do like that! Anyway I gave them thirty whole dollars for a year's membership. That's right, for just $2.50 a year you can keep some starving words from being homeless, won't you give today.