Our Culture Writers Pick The Best Essays Of 2016

This year might have been our craziest yet. Thankfully, writing helped us make sense of it.

Lixia Guo / BuzzFeed News

Bim Adewumni

Bim Adewumni

These five pieces gave me joy or illuminated a subject so cleanly and perfectly that I felt, briefly, like an expert. And in 2016, that was very welcome. —Bim

You Haven't Seen Everything John Cho Can Do —E. Alex Jung, Vulture

To Love Your Sister Is To Grieve Your Twin —Tomi Obaro, BuzzFeed

Laura Mvula: ‘My body spasms. I think I’m going to collapse’ —Tom Lamont, The Guardian

Vertical Descent: Adventures in Synchronized Swimming —Elisabeth Donnelly, VQR

The Grace of Keanu Reeves —Angelica Jade Bastién, Bright Wall/Dark Room

Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

Hannah Giorgis

Hannah Giorgis

These are five insightful pieces that tell stories about individuals or small groups — and cut at the heart of the world we all inhabit in the process. —Hannah

The Ecstasy of Frank Ocean —Doreen St. Félix, MTV News

My Father's House —Reggie Ugwu, BuzzFeed

The Soccer-Star Refugees of Eritrea —Alexis Okeowo, The New Yorker

I Will Never Underestimate White People's Need To Preserve Whiteness Again —Damon Young, Very Smart Brothas

Quiet Storm —Clover Hope, Fader

Cari Vander Yacht for BuzzFeed News

Scaachi Koul

Scaachi Koul

Reading this year has been entirely about trying to distract myself from whatever fiery hellscape has been going on outside my front door, so most of what I read — even when it was, indeed, about Trump — served as some kind of distraction, or comfort, or something to bring me closer to sanity. Sometimes you just want to read some good writing and a weird story while you stock your underground bunker, you know? —Scaachi

The Year In Avatars —Navneet Alang, Hazlitt

As Not Seen On TV —Pete Wells, The New York Times

Donald Trump's Ghostwriter Tells All —Jane Mayer, The New Yorker

The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens —Elspeth Reeve, The New Republic

Kim Kardashian West on Kanye and Taylor Swift, What's In OJ's Bag, and Understanding Caitlyn —Caity Weaver, GQ


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