#Delete Monday with Longform

by Menaka Raman

#DeleteMonday is a weekly podcast recommendation by a Vaaka Media team member. You might not be able to delete Monday, but you can escape it for a little bit.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the ‘come take a look inside this person’s life’ kind of story — especially when it’s the lives of women. As a teenager, I would borrow old copies of Seventeen magazine from our lending library and pour over the back-to-school styles of hopelessly cool-looking girls from very far away. Nothing makes me happier now than looking at the writing desks of authors I admire or reading about the minutiae of the lives of successful people (x wakes up at 4:00 am and does Ashtanga yoga).

My inner voyeur loves it.

And I’ve found that my appetite for this kind of story spills over into what I enjoy listening to when it comes to podcasts. I love The Cut’s ‘How She Get’s It Done’; interviews where journalists, artists, and entrepreneurs share just that — how they get it done. Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Sugar Calling’ where she reached out to a very specific subset of authors — those above the age of 70 — and asked for what wisdom they had to share during the early months of the pandemic.

Why am I so fascinated by this format? Perhaps it’s the cheap thrill of hearing about a shared habit with someone I fangirl over. Or the desire to find that one hack I think will solve some problem in my life.

My pick for this week’s Delete Monday is an interview of Radhika Jones by Max Linsky over at Longform Podcast from November 2019.

Radhika Jones is editor-in-chief at Vanity Fair magazine and her career trajectory reads like the stuff of dreams: editorial director for the books department at The New York Times, deputy managing editor of Time, and the managing editor of The Paris Review. To listen to Jones talk to Linsky about how she got where she is today, the need to mentor a new generation of writers, and keeping a magazine like Vanity Fair relevant in these times was fascinating. I’ll admit, to date, my only knowledge of Vanity Fair has been the annual photo shoot Annie Leibovitz does, but after this interview, I have started reading the magazine online, including Jesmyn Ward’s heart wrenching ‘On Witness And Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed By Pandemic’ (there is also an audio version of the article).

But it wasn’t just Jones’ thoughtful answers I enjoyed, it was Max Linsky’s skills as an interviewer that I was also listening out for. In one rather fun moment, calls her out for not answering the question he’d asked her.

All in all, an hour well spent! Listen to Radhika Jones’ interview on Longform podcast here.

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