“When I was doing Virginia Woolf, and when George and Martha had their scene together and George said, ‘Our son is dead.’ You know, that big scene? ‘Our son,’ he yells in my face, ‘is dead.’ And I went ‘No!’ At the height of my force, I said no to him. And I had an orgasm for the first time in my life.”
—Elaine Stritch speaking with Alec Baldwin on Here’s The Thing
You have ugly talents, Stritchie.
From the Kennedy Center, @Cloris_Leachman twitpics a photo with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and our day is made.
Baxter covers the Celtics for The Boston Globe, which he joined in 2013 after spending three and a half years as a sports reporter at the Los Angeles Times. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009. He’s a proud Oklahoman from a no-stoplight town where humans are outnumbered by cow and buffalo:
“A nun. A super-secure nuclear-weapons facility. A break-in. Click-bait, all of that. All ingredients succinct enough for an enticing tweet, which these days count. But Dan Zak, one of the best in this racket, has far more than a wild premise; he also wrote the hell out of his piece, ‘The Prophets of Oak Ridge,’ in the Washington Post. It’s my favorite longread of the week. Exquisite reporting, beautiful pacing (and writing), but no overwriting—a key. The online layout is ‘Snow Fall’ sexy, and the illustrations set it apart. The story itself bounces chronologically off their suspenseful B&E, keeping you in real time while divulging just enough history—but not enough to bore you. Some stories are as fulfilling as a top-dollar steak, medium rare, with nice fixings on the side. This is one of them. (But no spoilers.) Well done, Zak. You took a gripping narrative and turned it topical by showing how much the U.S. doles out per year on nuclear weapons. You also made me care about these servants of God, especially Sister Megan. I now give a damn about their trial. In all, this is newspapers at their finest. Long live print—and print will live on with stories like this.”
What are you reading (and loving)? Tell us.
For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscar Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in ‘The Corrections’? Any of the characters in ‘Infinite Jest’? Any of the characters in anything Pynchon has ever written? Or Martin Amis? Or Orhan Pamuk? Or Alice Munro, for that matter? If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘is this character alive?’ — novelist Claire Messud, when asked by Publisher’s Weekly if she would want to be friends with the “unbearably grim” main character of her new book.
Yes, yes, we do.
We heard Chickpeas is great in this.
Longreads: Behind the Longreads: Dan Zak on the Nun and the Nukes -
We asked Washington Post reporter Dan Zak how he stumbled upon “The Prophets of Oak Ridge.” Here’s his account:
“This story happened because a generous colleague, Dana Priest, pitched it downstairs to my area of the newsroom. She had finished a series on the country’s aging nuclear…
No, Dan does not wear a tux to work every day.
Dive in to the White House Correspondents Dinner weekend. (Which aint’ over yet.)