This weekend, take heed to a set of narrated articles from round The New York Occasions, learn aloud by the reporters who wrote them.

Written by Valerie Hopkins and Misha Friedman | Narrated by Valerie Hopkins

Maria V. Alyokhina first got here to the eye of the Russian authorities — and the world — when, in 2012, her punk band and efficiency artwork group, Pussy Riot, staged a protest in opposition to President Vladimir V. Putin within the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.

For that act of riot, she was sentenced to 2 years in jail for “hooliganism.” She had remained decided to combat Mr. Putin’s system of repression, even after being jailed six extra occasions since final summer season, every stint for 15 days, all the time on trumped-up prices geared toward stifling her political activism.

However in April, as Mr. Putin cracked down tougher to snuff out any criticism of his warfare in Ukraine, the authorities introduced that her efficient home arrest could be transformed to 21 days in a penal colony. She determined it was time to go away Russia — at the very least briefly — and disguised herself as a meals courier to evade the Moscow police.

It’s a tough time to be a utopian author, or any form of utopian. Catastrophe-filled dystopian tales abound in motion pictures, tv and fiction; information headlines verge on apocalyptic. Different masters of utopian speculative fiction — giants like Ursula Ok. Le Guin and Iain M. Banks — are gone, and few are filling the void. On the identical time, utopian tales have by no means felt so crucial.

At 70, Kim Stanley Robinson — who’s extensively acclaimed as some of the influential speculative fiction writers of his technology — stands as maybe the final of the nice utopians. It may be lonely work, he stated. However these days, his writing has been having an influence in the actual world, as biologists, local weather scientists, tech entrepreneurs and C.E.O.s of inexperienced know-how start-ups have regarded to his fiction as a potential street map for avoiding the worst outcomes of local weather change.

Written and narrated by Katherine Rosman

Since final summer season, a start-up in beta mode has been soliciting volunteers to participate in 55-minute classes referred to as “gathers,” the place strangers talk about their deepest hopes and fears. The fledgling firm, Peoplehood, is led by the entrepreneurs Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, who mixed sweat and spirituality of their final enterprise, the high-end health chain SoulCycle.

Ms. Cutler and Ms. Rice see Peoplehood as a pure successor to SoulCycle, which turned a phenomenon as a result of it made its clients really feel as in the event that they have been sculpting not simply their our bodies but additionally their selves. The chain’s devotees put on SoulCycle gear as they pedal in unison on stationary bikes in candlelit rooms below the tutelage of guru-like instructors who shout out messages of empowerment.

Peoplehood is an organization centered on exercises for the self.

Written and narrated by Ruth Graham

For many years, Kevin Thompson, 44, had been assured that he knew the individuals of Fort Smith, Ark., a small metropolis tucked below a bend within the Arkansas River alongside the Oklahoma border. He was born on the oldest hospital on the town, attended public colleges there and grew up in a Baptist church that inspired him to start out preaching as a teen. He assumed he would reside in Fort Smith for the remainder of his life.

However then issues modified. “Jesus talks about how he’s the reality, how central fact is,” Mr. Thompson stated in an interview. “The second you lose the idea of fact you’ve misplaced all the things.”

A political second through which the Supreme Court docket seems getting ready to overturning Roe v. Wade seems like a triumphant period for conservative evangelicals. However there are deepening cracks beneath that ascendance.

Throughout the nation, theologically conservative white evangelical church buildings that have been as soon as comfortably united have discovered themselves at odds over most of the identical points dividing the Republican Get together and different establishments. The disruption, worry and bodily separation of the pandemic have exacerbated each rift.

Written and narrated by Jamie Lauren Keiles

Phalloplasty, or surgical procedure to assemble a penis, is certainly one of medication’s most complicated procedures. Although it technically refers to at least one step in a protracted course of — the development of a phallus from a flap of 1’s personal pores and skin — the time period is used extra typically to explain a collection of modular surgical procedures, every attending to a special penile operate.

The surgical procedure for trans males and nonbinary individuals — identified in medication as gender-affirming phalloplasty — has existed in some kind since at the very least the Forties, however till just lately it was uncommon in the US, the place insurance coverage protection was unreliable and few surgeons catered to the wants of trans sufferers.

Right this moment, each entry and attitudes are altering, because of efforts in peer schooling, latest developments in surgical method and, most consequential, the Inexpensive Care Act, which prohibits well being applications that obtain federal funding from discriminating on the idea of sure federally protected standards, together with intercourse.

With a steep charge of issues, nonetheless, phalloplasty stays a controversial process.

The Occasions’s narrated articles are made by Tally Abecassis, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Aaron Esposito, Dan Farrell, Elena Hecht, Adrienne Hurst, Elisheba Ittoop, Emma Kehlbeck, Marion Lozano, Tanya Pérez, Krish Seenivasan, Margaret H. Willison, Kate Winslett, John Woo and Tiana Younger. Particular because of Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner, Julia Simon and Desiree Ibekwe.