Harper’s Magazine
The Harper’s Podcast
The Lost Child

The Lost Child

Belief amid tragedy on the Arkansas trail

In the spring of 2001, Benjamin Hale’s six-year-old cousin went missing in the Arkansas Ozarks, prompting one of the largest search-and-rescue missions in Arkansas history. Her miraculous discovery is a story in itself, but in a long Folio for the current issue of Harper’s Magazine, Hale also tells of the loss of another young girl in the same woods, decades prior, that seems eerily connected to his cousin’s. In conversation with Harper’s editor, Christopher Beha, Hale tackles questions of belief raised by a sequence of events so uncanny that they have prompted listeners—as well as those intimately involved—to search for other explanations.

  • Subscribe to Harper’s for only $16.97: harpers.org/save

  • “Who Walks Always Beside You?” Benjamin Hale’s essay in the August issue of Harper’s

  • “The Last Distinction?” Benjamin Hale’s piece from August 2012 about monkeys

  • 2:10: “I try to give the nutshell version and end up giving a story for an hour”

  • 10:50: Having to live in order to save another

  • 13:51: “My militant atheism was more informed by Carl Sagan” than Richard Dawkins

  • 17:00: There are certain things I don’t understand, I will never understand, and I’m okay with that.”

  • 20:54: The ethos of Arkansas

  • 25:16: “Go to the water, go to the river”

  • 30:42: On the 5,000 words that didn’t make the cut

Harper’s Magazine
The Harper’s Podcast
Since 1850, Harper’s Magazine has provided its readers with a unique perspective on the issues that drive our national conversation, featuring writing from some of the most promising to most distinguished names in literature–from Barbara Ehrenreich to Rachel Kushner. Every week, host Violet Lucca joins her colleagues and contributing writers to provide listeners with a deep dive into these topics and the craft of long-form narrative journalism.
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