The “Must” List: Sarah Fulford
An exclusive, ongoing RRJ series featuring leading Canadian journalists and their top picks for pieces every journalist “must read,” “must watch” and “must listen” to before they die.
TODAY: editor Sarah Fulford
Sarah Fulford is the editor-in-chief of Toronto Life magazine. Fulford took the position in 2008, after holding several jobs at the magazine since 1999 and following the departure of John Macfarlane, who had been editor for 15 years. Her father is veteran Canadian freelance journalist Robert Fulford and her husband, Stephen Marche, is a novelist and columnist for Esquire magazine. Talk about a powerhouse family.
The Atlantic Monthly:
“Stories in The Atlantic Monthly now are wonderfully provocative. The magazine takes on big, urgent, relevant 21st-century topics, and its writers deliver opinionated pieces with strong voices. Many of the magazine’s cover stories are so original, imaginative and well reported, they become the focus of conversations happening elsewhere: in universities, on podcasts and on Twitter and Facebook. For example: the amazing, sweeping June 2009 cover story by Joshua Wolf Shenk on what makes us happy, and Hanna Rosin’s eye-opening July/August 2010 cover story called ‘The End of Men,’ about the rise of girls and women in the post-industrial age. I also love reading Caitlin Flanagan. She’s so outrageously counterintuitive. In one of her recent articles, she convinced me that school gardens are a bad idea.”
Fresh Air with Terry Gross:
“I listen to Terry Gross on podcasts from NPR religiously. She is a brilliant interviewer who creates a calm, intimate, affectionate space between herself and her interview subjects. It’s magical to listen to. She interviews pop stars, actors, journalists, doctors, military experts, authors of new fascinating books, and anyone else she is interested in. I attribute the show’s success to her wide-ranging curiosity, a deep empathetic streak in her character, and excellent pre-interview research. Also, she listens! You’d think all interviewers would, but they don’t. Two of my favourite interviews, which give a sense of her range: her interview with Tracy Morgan (which was hilarious and also very sad) and her interview with a Harvard Medical School doctor named Robert Martensen, who had just published a book about end-of-life care (A Life Worth Living: A Doctor’s Reflection on Illness in a High-Tech Era), which was hugely emotional and also educational. Terry Gross consistently makes me laugh and cry.”
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc: Random Family (2004)
“LeBlanc immersed herself for a decade in one of the Bronx’s poorest neighbourhoods and chronicled the life of many of its inhabitants in achingly intimate detail. It has the best qualities of a good documentary—in that it vividly reveals an unfamiliar world—and the page-turning drama of a thick novel (with surprise plot twists and three-dimensional characters). The book gave me a sense of what happens to a community when all the adult-aged men are in prison. Overall, I was awestruck by the ambition of the reporting.”