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sitdown sunday

Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

The very best of the week’s writing from around the web.

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.

1.I don’t really like all kids
Emma Brockes interviewed the late author Maurice Sendak. Just because he wrote children’s books for a living, doesn’t mean it was all light and fluffy. (Believer Mag)

I really don’t like the city anymore. You get pushed and harassed and people grope you. It’s too tumultuous. It’s too crazy. I’m afraid of falling over in New York. People are all insane and talking on machines and twittering and twottering. All that. I’m here looking for peace and quiet. A yummy death.

2.The revolution: one lonely kid at a time
Alex Ross reflects on the political successes, and failures, of America’s gay community. (The New Yorker)

In the nineties, talk of gay marriage sounded kooky and futuristic, like something out of a left-wing version of “The Jetsons.” In the elections of 2004, when measures against gay marriage passed in eleven states, the campaign appeared to have backfired.

3.Where most of the gunfire is celebratory
Sean Flynn looks back at the life, and death, of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. (GQ)

Instead of the foreign service, then, he joined the Peace Corps. (That time, he bluffed the oral: When a recruiter asked him almost offhandedly if he spoke French, he immediately answered, “Moi? Oui, of course.” Then he hung up the phone and turned to his roommate: “Shit, I haven’t taken French since high school.”)

4.Fighting for the favelas
Misha Glenny delves in to the changes being made to, and forced upon, the city of Rio de Janeiro in the run to its hosting of both the World Cup and the Olympics. (FT Magazine)

Notwithstanding the risks, Rio’s property developers look longingly at two of the most famous favelas, Rocinha and Vidigal, because one can enjoy by far the most spectacular views over Rio from their corrugated-iron shacks.

5.Changing gender, and telling your wife
Christine Benvenuto was happily married with two children until her husband told her he felt he was in the wrong body. (The Guardian)

It was hard to understand the sudden dramatic change in a state of being he now claimed was lifelong. I tried to convince Tom that he was not a woman. When that failed, I tried to convince him that, for our children’s sake, he could believe he was a woman and still choose to live as a man.

6.Don’t stop eating
Jon Ronson explores the world of competitive eating and sees more corned-beef sandwiches than he ever thought possible. (GQ)

It’s a ten-minute contest. By minute six, most of the field is belching and cramping. But not Joey Chestnut. Pat Bertoletti is doing his level best to keep pace with the champ, and young Matt Stonie seems remarkably adept for someone so slight. But Joey is on another level. He’s Usain Bolt, but with sandwiches.


In 2010, John Donvan and Caren Zucker wrote in The Atlantic about the first person ever to be diagnosed with autism, and the long and happy life that followed the diagnosis.

Donald was the first child ever diagnosed with autism. Identified in the annals of autism as “Case 1 … Donald T,” he is the initial subject described in a 1943 medical article that announced the discovery of a condition unlike “anything reported so far,” the complex neurological ailment now most often called an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. At the time, the condition was considered exceedingly rare, limited to Donald and 10 other children – Cases 2 through 11 – also cited in that first article.

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