The 5 Most Popular Narratively Stories of 2022

From a Gilded Age murder to a high school's secret fantasy slut league, these are the stories that most enthralled our readers this year.

The 5 Most Popular Narratively Stories of 2022

Just when we think we might’ve heard every story, it’s thanks to you — our contributors, our writers, our readers — who show us just how much there is to know about what we don’t know. In 2022, our stories were all over the map, sometimes literally — from Argentina to Alabama — and sometimes figuratively — from punk rock freaks to a Gilded Age murder mystery. Read on to see which stories were our readers’ favorites from this past year.

5. A Gilded Age Tale of Murder and Madness

Story by Kay Adams and Nancy Markey

Illustration by Camilla Sucre

In opulent seaside Newport, a wealthy and beloved Black businessman turns up dead. The prime suspect is his son-in-law, a dashing medical student set to become one of the country’s first Black surgeons. The resulting trial will tear the town in two.

4. The Deep South’s Dames of Dildos

Story by Hallie Lieberman

Photo by Abraham Rowe

In a Bible-belt state where sex toys stores are illegal, a church-going grandma, enterprising mom and sassy granddaughter build a booming business hawking penis pumps and butt plugs—and helping every person find their path to pleasure.

3. The True Crime Podcast Junkie Turned Real Life Murder Suspect

Story by Dylan Taylor-Lehman

Illustration by Matt Rota

Is Steve Pankey a cold-blooded killer who got away with murder for decades, or just a true-crime obsessive craving attention?

2. Revolución on the Cookie Factory Floor

Story by Sofia Kuan and Facundo Iglesia

Illustration by Yunuen Bonaparte

The new owner of Argentina’s de facto national treat stopped paying his majority-female workforce — so they seized control of the entire operation.

1. My High School’s Secret Fantasy Slut League

Story by Lena Crown

Illustration by Vicky Leta

Our wealthy California school had a hookup game where boys “drafted” girls, then tracked their sex acts. A decade later, my classmates still debate whether “FSL” was harmless teenage hijinks or a symptom of toxic rot in our elite enclave.