01.14.12 9:45 AM ET
The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for January 14, 2012
State of the Union
David Remnick, The New Yorker
Jodi Kantor’s new book about the Obama marriage, and why the president and first lady have it so much better than most of their predecessors.
Steve Ballmer Reboots
Ashlee Vance, Businessweek
Cooler tech, more energy, higher profit—the Microsoft CEO is out to prove Steve Jobs wrong and make Redmond relevant again
Why Write Novels at All?
Garth Risk Hallberg, New York Times Magazine
Writers of the Franzen Generation have decided that the purpose of fiction is to make us feel less alone. Will that be enough to save the novel?
I’ll Be Your Mirror
Madiha R. Tahir, The Caravan
How a former cricket star Imran Khan became Pakistan’s most loved politician.
The Autumn of Joan Didion
Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic
Her work is a triumph—and a disaster.
Letter from New Orleans
Wright Thompson, Grantland
The National Championship Game, Louisiana politics, and Edwin Edwards's last campaign.