I’m beginning to develop an allergy to the cult of “longform journalism.” I say this as someone who loves few things more than receiving a well-written 5,000-word manuscript from a writer and who regularly listens to the Longform Podcast. Yes, but still. The thing that right now has made my face all swole and caused my puffy eyes to water is the recently posted Longreads list of the best “under recognized” stories of the year. When the list includes stories from the New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker and GQ, I’m not sure what “under recognized” means. But here’s my nomination.
For me, the best, most under recognized story of the year is “When the River Rises,” by D Magazine contributing editor Jamie Thompson. It’s about the 2015 flood in Wimberley. It is cinematic and sad and important and perfectly structured. You want to know how under recognized it was? Texas Monthly chose to publish the piece online only, not even giving the benefit of ink to one of the best things they published all year. You want to know how under recognized this story was? I count at least three contributors to that Longreads list who personally know Jamie, and not one of them gave it mention. That’s how under recognized it is.
No longer! I hereby recognize it!
If you’re sitting around the office today, just burning clock, give it a read. Merry Christmas.