Nonfiction Recommendations Science

Support your local journalist

Another recommendation today, this time for a piece of journalism by Paige Williams: Finding Dolly Freed, a profile of the author of the 1970s alternative-living screed Possum Living (now being republished by Tin House).

Partly due to the continuing pseudonymity of her subject, Williams couldn’t find a magazine willing to buy this article, so she decided to print it herself. She cites Radiohead’s In Rainbows experiment as an inspiration; everyone on Twitter is calling it “indie journalism.” I’d call it one of the best profiles I’ve read lately (between this and Rebecca Skloot’s book, it’s been a good week for nonfiction!).

Also: I’ll testify that an appeal from an individual author can influence me in ways a larger publication can’t — I gave a donation for this article, but I read the Times magazine online every week. (Then again, if Williams wanted a donation every week, I might grow less willing to contribute, too.) It’s an interesting concept, and I’ll be curious to see how well it works for her.

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