May 2011

How inspiration becomes art, Stephen King's new fiction story, why Malcolm X lives on in Barack Obama, the joy of not cooking, more


Project: First Drafts

How does that spark of creativity find its way to the canvas, the page, the dinner plate, or the movie screen? Inside the messy, maddening, and mysterious process of creating something new. With Paul Simon, Frank Gehry, Tim Burton, Chuck Close and others.

Herman Wouk Is Still Alive

New fiction from Stephen King
Q&A With Stephen King: An interview with the author on the creative process, the state of fiction, and more

The Cross Word

A story and puzzle in 76 clues


The Iowa Caucus Kingmaker

Bob Vander Plaats offers GOP candidates a choice: join his crusade against gay marriage or lose the primary.

Hear Me Now?

The Verizon Guy gets his life back.

The Nostalgia Trap

In Brooklyn and London, the future is losing to the past.

Running the Asylum

A schizophrenic tries to save the mentally ill in Pakistan, a land gone mad.

Sister Schmuck Takes a Stand

A nun fights to recover her good name.

Valencia Is Burning

Each spring, Spanish artists construct masterpieces—and then set them ablaze at the party of the year.

Are You Following a Bot?

How to manipulate social movements by hacking Twitter


The Great Los Angeles Novel

HBO’s Mildred Pierce is based on James M. Cain’s book that has to go down as one of the great failures of American fiction.

Philip Larkin, the Impossible Man

How the most exasperating of poets met his match

The Legacy of Malcolm X

Why his vision lives on in Barack Obama


The Joy of Not Cooking

High-end retailers are counting on us to spend more money on our kitchens—even as we spend less time in them.

How Heavy Metal Is Keeping Us Sane

Dark and disturbing, the music is honest about human nature.


Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


What Makes a Story Great?

What makes a story great? The storytellers behind House of CardsThis American LifeThe Moth, and more reflect on the creative process.


Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.


The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air



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