Feature Stories

Bees on the Brain

Honey, the Environmental Protection Agency is failing you.

Hilary Kearney reminds me of a modern Joni Mitchell. She wears her stick-straight, shoulder-length, blond hair in a side-swept part. When I first met Hilary, she was barefoot and standing in her kitchen. Minutes earlier, ...

Beyond Race

Stubborn, not subversive, Andrea Rushing.

In 1973, if you’d asked 15-year-old Andrea Rushing if he’d rather meet Salvador Dalí or Michael Jackson, he would have picked Salvador Dalí. “I was probably the only black boy in the South whose hero ...

Aching loins, lonely heart

Brian got married “around age 28. We had Anthony about two years afterwards and had Adriana in ’94.” Though he didn’t relish the thought of being “50 years old and worrying about [my daughter’s] virginity,” ...

Meet the Dishcrawl Ambassador

On a Tuesday evening in late September, Lindsay Marks stands in the center of a group of people at Spike Africa’s Fresh Fish Grill and Bar on Broadway. She wears a cheek-stretcher of a smile ...

I’m dizzy, I’m hot, my chest aches

Communing with the heaviness.

An excerpt from The Sanctuary of Illness: A Memoir of Heart Disease by longtime Reader contributor Thomas Larson.

Holiday in South Africa, part 4

The Boer doesn’t tell us what to do here.

Part four of a four-part story about apartheid-era South Africa. First published in The Monthly, November 1986. Reprinted in the Reader, summer of 1990. In memory of Nelson Mandela.

Top 13 Reader articles of 2013

A year of news and stories in order of popularity

1 ) Roman Abramovich yacht on San Diego’s Embarcadero — Two helicopter pads, pool, spa, hot tub... 2 ) San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers on indefinite hiatus following political endorsement — All-Pro quarterback's statement on ...

Holiday in South Africa, part 3

Black townships, like Soweto, represent the place where everything went wrong.

“The man was an informer.” Riggs and I are sharing daytime fun, a black guy and a white guy driving around black townships, at risk both from South African security forces and enraged blacks who, ...

Holiday in South Africa, part 2

Next morning I begin making the rounds, schedule interviews with a well-known activist who’s teaching at University of Witwatersrand (he has since been detained), with Brendon Berry, president of the National University Student Association, recently ...

Holiday in South Africa: Johannesburg in 1986, revisited

May 8, 1986. I am the only passenger on the 30-minute shuttle from Jans Smuts International Airport to Johannesburg’s city center. Joburg’s population is three million plus and its downtown bears an uncanny resemblance to ...

Geyser murders, part 4

The first person executed by the state of California — José Gabriel — might have been an innocent man.

Geyser murders, part 3

There was enough evidence to hang Indian Jose Gabriel for the killings of the Geyser family on Otay Mesa in 1892…at least by mob standards.

Geyser murders, part 2

The quivering mound of crimson-streaked grime would be the prisoner.

Attempted reconstruction of the scene of a double murder on Otay Mesa in the 1890s. They blamed the Indian, José Rafael.