Big Stories

9 Longform Stories We’re Reading This Week: Harry Nilsson, Tig Notaro, And Civil Forfeiture

Last year, Tig Notaro performed a now-legendary set that opened with the words, “Hello, I have cancer.” How did she survive the chaos that followed, and where does she go from here? Read our profile of her, and these other great longform stories from around the web.

1. Tig Notaro And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Yet Somehow Completely Amazing Year — BuzzFeed

Photograph by Elizabeth Weinberg for BuzzFeed

A year ago this week, the 42-year-old comedian turned the low point of her life into the high point of her career. Now comes the hard part. Read it at BuzzFeed.

2. The Legacy of Harry Nilsson — Grantland

Michael Putland / Getty Images

Remembering Harry Nilsson: American Beatle, filthy drunk, and the great lost music genius of the 1970s. A captivating, YouTube-laden profile by super fan Sean Fennessey. Read it at Grantland.

3. TakenThe New Yorker

Danny Robbins / AP

Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Sarah Stillman asks: Is that all we’re losing? Read it at The New Yorker.

4. Did Goldman Sachs Overstep in Criminally Charging Its Ex-Programmer?Vanity Fair

Left, BY William Farrington; Right, By Allan Tannenbaum; Both from Polaris / Via vanityfair.com

One month after programmer Sergey Aleynikov left Goldman Sachs, he was arrested. Exactly what he’d done neither the FBI, which interrogated him, nor the jury, which convicted him a year later, seemed to understand. Michael Lewis investigates. Read it at Vanity Fair.

5. The Ghost Rapes of BoliviaVice

Noah Friedman-Rudovsky for Vice

A disturbing piece of reportage by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky about mass rape among a South American Mennonite community. The perpetrators have been caught and prosecuted — supposedly. Read it at Vice.

6. This Is What Happens When a Porn Star Finds God — BuzzFeed

After seven years in the adult industry, hundreds of films, and an attempted suicide, Brittni Ruiz knew she wanted out. She just didn’t know how. Hunter Schwarz tells her story. Read it at BuzzFeed.

7. GeniusWIRED

David Hogsholt for WIRED

Why are some people so smart? John Bohannon argues that the answer could spawn a new generation of superbabies. Read it at WIRED.

8. Join, Or Die — Narratively

Photograph by Mike Cirilo / Narratively

From the top of their kepis to the tip of their brogans, these Brooklyn-based Civil War reenactors leave everything on the battlefield. Jesse Marx writes: “Civil War reenactors approach their hobby with the zeal of a prophet and the curiosity of an academic.” Read it at Narratively.

9. Did This College Student Really Want to Kill Two of Her Ex-Boyfriends? — BuzzFeed

Natasha Vargas-Cooper brings the story of Barbara Wu, 21, who’s facing trial for soliciting the murder of two exes. Her lawyer claims her murder plots weren’t serious threats. The prosecution says she was the next Jodi Arias. Read it at BuzzFeed.

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