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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: Remembering the late, great, Anthony Bourdain

Settle back in a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

Anthony Bourdain 1956-2018 American Chef Source: Elisa Andrea/Pi

1. How the ‘rugby rape trial’ divided Ireland

Susan McKay writes about the impact of the ‘rugby rape trial’ on Ireland.

(The Guardian, approx 31 mins reading time)

Yet others were outraged on behalf of the defendants, pointing to flaws and inconsistencies in the complainant’s evidence. The case should never have got to court, they said. They felt it was unjust that the defendants were named and photographed – almost every day, their photographs were displayed alongside shocking headlines in the papers, while film of them arriving at court with their families was shown on television.

2. How New York is failing its mentally ill

This piece details the terrible situations some people who have mental illness are faced with when left on their own.

(New York Times, approx 20 mins reading time)

But in addition to the deaths, ProPublica and Frontline identified more than two dozen cases in which people in supported housing were not able to care for themselves, leaving them in unsafe or inhumane living conditions. Most of those people moved back to an adult home, but others ended up in a nursing home or a psychiatric ward. One resident landed in jail. One is missing, according to the police.

3. My beautiful death

Artist Gillian Genser was getting strange symptoms and feeling terrible – for years. And it turned out the cause was her art.

(Toronto Life, approx 6 mins reading time)

After a few months working on Adam, I began to feel unwell. I was agitated all of the time. I had constant headaches, and I vomited often, sometimes a few times a day. I visited a never-ending assortment of specialists—neurologists, rheumatologists, endocrinologists—hoping to figure out what was wrong with me. When they asked me if I worked with anything toxic, I said no, that I only used natural materials.

4. Sick and tired of the plus-size section

Catriona Innes is size 16, and finds shopping a total pain – because plus-size sections can be terrible at catering for anyone with style.

(Cosmopolitan, approx 12 mins reading time)

And that was when I was on the 14-going-on-16 edge of the sizing scale. Now, eight years on, I’m a 16, often an 18, and my unique, colourful, layered look has all but disappeared. Because the harder shopping and fashion became, the more I removed myself from it. Workwear became the trusty old fit-and-flare, in a stretchy fabric. Clothes stores that were once my staples shut me out. I know which places want me, and which don’t. It’s clear from the sizes on their rails. This – I’m keen to point out – is not just my particular problem, a rant from a woman who can’t accept that she’s put on two stone in two years.

5. How British hoarders are prepping for Brexit

A fascinating – and sobering – look at how some people living in Britain are prepping for Brexit, which includes hoarding food and growing their own vegetables.

(New York Times, approx 8 mins reading time)

Mr. Patrick, who lives in the East Midlands region of England, says that people need not stock large quantities of food, and that his family has enough for only a week. “This is a case of having some candles as well as a torch, a battery-powered radio, perhaps a solar-powered phone charger,” he said, rejecting any parallel to doomsday preppers who prepare to barricade themselves in remote places with enough supplies for months or years.

6. The brilliant life of Anthony Bourdain

The late, great Anthony Bourdain is remembered in this lovely tribute.

(GQ, approx 33 mins reading time)

We took a little walk together, and it was just this welling up of this anxiety and insecurity. “Why are we doing this? What are we doing? What have I done?” And I’m like, “Tony, let me tell you what we’ve done. We’ve just agreed on a contract to deliver three episodes. So you better walk this off and get your ass in the restaurant, and we’re gonna go to work.” People’s idea of Tony is formed after 20 years of watching him on television, and there’s a sense of like “This guy is the un-muscled James Bond.” In fact, he was actually a shy man.


In 2010, Joe Hogan wrote about Nina Simone’s secret diary, which detailed her bipolar disorder and its effect on her life.

(The Believer, approx mins reading time)

By turns luridly raw and heartbreaking, Simone’s diary and letters illuminate her defining years as an artist, before she left the U.S. in 1972 for an itinerant life overseas, a single mother and divorcée, broke and wildly unstable. It’s the period when she first embraced protest music against a backdrop of crushing self-doubt and ambiguous sexual identity. For every step she took toward personal freedom, drawn to the liberation ideologies of the 1960s, her dream of wider acceptance slipped further from reach.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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