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9 Longform Stories We’re Reading This Week

1. Remade In Taiwan: Manny Ramirez’s Season Abroad — BuzzFeed

Source: Courtesy of the EDA Rhinos / Via

Two years after he retired from baseball in disgrace, one of the greatest sluggers of his generation wound up playing on the other side of the world, the unlikely savior of a league whose reputation is as complicated as his own. And with a major league comeback possibly imminent, a half a season in Taiwan may have saved Manny Ramirez too.

2. How Carne Ross Created A New Kind of Diplomacy — BuzzFeed

John Gara

The outspoken, Occupy-influenced ex-attaché pissed off England, changed the face of international relations, and inspired a John Le Carré novel. The ambassador for the Syrian National Coalition and the Polisario Front is a diplomat for an unsettled age.

3. Shooting the MessengersBritish GQ

Ed Caesar on the hard choice faced by war reporters: Never has technology made reporting from the front easier, and yet today, journalists, like Tim Hetherington, are often targets of violence. A sobering article, centered around Hetherington’s Restrepo co-writer, Sebastian Junger, and his decision to quit conflict reporting.

4. Golf in China Is Younger Than Tiger Woods, But Growing Up FastNew York Times Sunday Magazine

Sim Chi Yin/VII Mentor Program, for The New York Times

Brook Larmer profiles Xie Chengfeng, an 8-year-old in Shenzhen, and other young golfers, whose entire lives are devoted to the cultivation of their games. Will they be the sport’s next greats?

5. How Superheroes And Sequels Keep Indies Off Summer Movie Screens — BuzzFeed

John Gara

“A decade ago, studios put out plenty of non-tentpole movies — romantic comedies, dramas, and teen flicks — in the summer, providing an array of choices for audiences and opportunities for creative filmmakers. Now those have just about disappeared.”

6. The Hoaxer Who Breaks Women’s HeartsThe Guardian

A handful of women all realize they’ve fallen for, and been heartbroken, by the same cyber mystery man. This gripping investigation finds the likely culprit, who isn’t what you’d expect.

7. How “This American Life” Made it To Episode 500 — BuzzFeed

Adrianne Mathiowetz

A retrospective of Ira Glass’ popular radio program, which will air its 500th episode Friday. “So does Glass think he has another 500 episodes left in him? ‘I mean, I guess,’ he says, after a long pause. ‘I don’t know. I’m in my fifties, and I started the show 18 years ago. So if we would do them at exactly the same pace, I would be 72 when we hit 1,000. And I feel like, I don’t know? If I’m alive? It’s not like I’ve got anything more interesting going. It’s a really unusually flexible and fun job.’”

8. The Father You ChooseEsquire

A beautiful memoir by Mark Warren, on the occasion of the passing of his father-in law, who as a boy in Germany was part of the Hitler Youth. “It is the great irony of my life that the two essential men in it, my father and my father-in-law, fought against each other in the war.”

9. Celebrity Profiler: Tom Chiarella, in His Own WordsIndianapolis Monthly

“Sometimes, people say ‘I want to be you.’ And I know they can’t mean it. What they want is to meet and spend time with movie stars. They always grant me too much credit in that regard. When an interview is over, I always shake hands and know that I’ll never see this person again. That if there was a whiff of friendship, it will be forgotten when they shoulder out into the city.”

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