Sunday, November 27, 2005

Impossible-to-put-down reading

Don’t tell me after today that newspapers are losing their relevance. Both the New York Times and Los Angles Times ran compelling magazine features, beautifully written stories that taught me something.

Barry Bearak wrote a lengthy and poignant article on Banda Aceh, the Indonesian city hardest hit in last year’s tsunami. More than 90,000 people were swept out to sea, never to be seen again. The piece is the longest article the New York Times Magazine has ever printed, and conveys the randomness of the tsunami and its unimaginable aftermath.

Matt Bai, who usually writes for the New York Times Magazine, has a compelling piece in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times Magazine about his wife’s Japanese-American family, who was interned in an American concentration camp during World War II. The story considers the price of secrets, and comes to some surprising conclusions.

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