Tremendous thanks to my editors John Cook and Tom Scocca, native Bartian Ward Harkavy, Tulsa World's Laura Summers, Dave Cullen, Stephen King, Adam Weinstein, Adam Weinstein’s dad, and everyone else mentioned in the story for helping to make this happen.
Here is the longest thing I’ve ever published, 8000 words on the very cool kid Adalia Rose Williams, her besieged mom, and the horrible other kids who spent two months attacking her. That’s her above, dancing to “Ice Ice Baby.”
Ian Parker, “The Story of a Suicide,” New Yorker. This deeply reported 12,000-word piece singlehandedly demonstrates why long-form writing and reporting is still essential in a social-media world.
Dan P. Lee, “Hiding Out With Fiona Apple, Musical Hermit,” New York. This piece wasn’t supposed to happen. The writer was initially given a slot in a turnstile of publicist-timed sit-down interviews, but under those manufactured circumstances, Lee managed to connect with Fiona Apple in such an organically human way that they end up spending 30 hours together, drinking wine, smoking hash, hiding. I’ve re-read this piece more times that I care to admit, and every instance, I’m surprised by the depth and range of its emotional tone. A lovely exchange of craft, empathy, and trust.
Mark Singer, “Marathon Man,” New Yorker. The truly bizarre tale of a dentist with a pathologically fraudulent marathon-running sideline. The most surprising part isn’t that Singer hops on a plane and unexpectedly shows up at the dentist’s office after being misled, but what happens when he finally meets the man in person.
I am going to find it difficult to tell you precisely why and how Hawaii moves me, touches me, saddens and troubles and engages my imagination, what it is in the air that will linger long after I have forgotten the smell of pikake and pineapple and the way the palms sound in the trade winds.
One request for help: we’d like to get in touch with few people for the book, including the couple posted above and this young woman (NSFW) who’s danced with Wolfpac in the past. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dan at email@example.com if you can help us track them down.
Also, while I’m crowd-sourcing Juggalo contacts, are there any Juggalos in Hawaii? If so, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d like to interview you.
My Sucklord Village Voice cover is supposed to be on Bravo’s Sucklord-themed “Gallery Girls” episode tonight. This is the production-company-provided video still that’s supposed air. John Dixon, the paper’s phenomenal art director, designed the cover. One of my favorites.