The Best American Magazine Writing 2019

Edited by Sid Holt for the American Society of Magazine Editors

Columbia University Press

The Best American Magazine Writing 2019

Pub Date: December 2019

ISBN: 9780231190015

Format: Paperback

List Price: $19.95£16.99

Pub Date: December 2019

ISBN: 9780231548663

Format: E-book

List Price: $18.99£15.99

The Best American Magazine Writing 2019

Edited by Sid Holt for the American Society of Magazine Editors

Columbia University Press

The Best American Magazine Writing 2019 presents articles honored by this year’s National Magazine Awards, showcasing outstanding writing that addresses urgent topics such as justice, gender, power, and violence, both at home and abroad. The anthology features remarkable reporting, including the story of a teenager who tried to get out of MS-13, only to face deportation (ProPublica); an account of the genocide against the Rohingya in Myanmar (Politico); and a sweeping California Sunday Magazine profile of an agribusiness empire. Other journalists explore the indications of environmental catastrophe, from invasive lionfish (Smithsonian) to the omnipresence of plastic (National Geographic).

Personal pieces consider the toll of mass incarceration, including Reginald Dwayne Betts’s “Getting Out” (New York Times Magazine); “This Place Is Crazy,” by John J. Lennon (Esquire); and Robert Wright’s “Getting Out of Prison Meant Leaving Dear Friends Behind” (Marshall Project with Vice). From the pages of the Atlantic and the New Yorker, writers and critics discuss prominent political figures: Franklin Foer’s “American Hustler” explores Paul Manafort’s career of corruption; Jill Lepore recounts the emergence of Ruth Bader Ginsburg; and Caitlin Flanagan and Doreen St. Félix reflect on the Kavanaugh hearings and #MeToo. Leslie Jamison crafts a portrait of the Museum of Broken Relationships (Virginia Quarterly Review), and Kasey Cordell and Lindsey B. Koehler ponder “The Art of Dying Well” (5280). A pair of never-before-published conversations illuminates the state of the American magazine: New Yorker writer Ben Taub speaks to Eric Sullivan of Esquire about pursuing a career as a reporter, alongside Taub’s piece investigating how the Iraqi state is fueling a resurgence of ISIS. And Karolina Waclawiak of BuzzFeed News interviews McSweeney’s editor Claire Boyle about challenges and opportunities for fiction at small magazines. That conversation is inspired by McSweeney’s winning the ASME Award for Fiction, which is celebrated here with a story by Lesley Nneka Arimah, a magical-realist tale charged with feminist allegory.
Introduction, by Adam Moss
Acknowledgments, by Sid Holt, chief executive, American Society of Magazine Editors
A Betrayal, by Hannah Dreier, ProPublica, copublished with New York, Finalist—Public Interest
American Hustler, by Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, Finalist—Reporting
A Kingdom from Dust, by Mark Arax, The California Sunday Magazine, Finalist— Feature Writing
Shallow Graves and An Interview with Ben Taub by Eric Sullivan, by Ben Taub, The New Yorker, Winner—Reporting
The Genocide the U.S. Didn’t See Coming, by Nahal Toosi, Politico, Finalist—Reporting
We Made It. We Depend on It. We’re Drowning in It. Plastic, by Laura Parker, National Geographic, Finalist— Public Interest
The First Porn President and I Believe Her and The Abandoned World of 1982, by Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic, Finalist—Columns and Commentary
Misjudged, by Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, Finalist—Essays and Criticism
The National Geographic Twins and the Falsehood of Our Post-Racial Future and The Profound Presence of Doria Ragland and The Ford-Kavanaugh Hearing Will Be Remembered as a Grotesque Display of Patriarchal Resentment, by Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, Winner—Columns and Comentary
This Place Is Crazy, by John J. Lennon, Esquire, Finalist—Feature Writing
Getting Out of Prison Meant Leaving Dear Friends Behind, by Robert Wright, The Marshall Project with Vice, Finalist—Columns and Commentary
Getting Out, by Reginald Dwayne Betts, New York Times Magazine, Winner—Essays and Criticism
How to Be an Artist, by Jerry Saltz, New York, Winner—Leisure Interests
The Art of Dying Well, by Kasey Cordell and Lindsey B.Koehler, 5280, Winner—Personal Service
Taming the Lionfish, by Jeff MacGregor, Smithsonian, Finalist—Feature Writing
The Breakup Museum, by Leslie Jamison, Virginia Quarterly Review, Finalist—Essays and Criticism
Skinned, by Lesley Nneka Arimah, and A Conversation with McSweeney’s Claire Boyle and Karolina Waclawiak, by The ASME Award for Fiction, McSweeney’s, Winner—ASME Award for Fiction
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List of Contributors

About the Author

Sid Holt is chief executive of the American Society of Magazine Editors and a former editor at Rolling Stone and Adweek magazines.

Adam Moss was the editor in chief of New York magazine from 2004 to 2019. He was elected by ASME to the Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame in 2019.

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