I first met Teju Cole under a tree strung with white lights. It was six years ago, at a book party in lower Manhattan, at the apartment of someone fortunate enough to have a backyard. All around us were fancy literary types — people with names like Salman, and Francine, and Jay. Both Teju and I, as I recall it, felt somewhat ill at ease. His first novel, “Open City,” had yet to come out, and he said he felt like a nobody. I had only recently been made an assigning editor at The New York Times Book Review, and I, too, felt like a nobody. Teju told me he had trained as an art historian. We talked about art and books, and agreed we should catch some music together in Brooklyn someday. Several months later, in a lengthy review in The New Yorker, James Wood wrote that “Open City” was a “beautiful, subtle, and, finally, original novel.” Numerous other accolades accrued. Teju and I never connected to go hear music — though I did entice him to write a review for me.

Teju Cole

Teju Cole Read More

Emily Yoffe When Emily Yoffe started looking into the issue of young men being expelled from colleges over alleged sexual assaults, she had in mind writing a “cheeky” 2,500-word … Read more

We just posted our 100th “Why’s This So Good?,” Abeer Najjar’s look at the Susan Dominus story in the New York Times Magazine, “Hana.” Nearly twice a month since … Read more

Happy Narrative New Year! If you resolved to get better at narrative in 2016, or even just to figure out what it is, here's a list of conferences and workshops where you can listen, learn… Read more

To help celebrate Floyd Patterson’s birthday, let’s turn for a moment to Esquire Hall of Famer Gay Talese, who called Patterson a “writer’s dream.” Esquire Classic: You wrote more than thirty stories … Read more

A good story transports its audience to the scene of the action. The classics of narrative nonfiction are memorable because they find the words that put the reader in the author’s shoes, witnessing the key … Read more

Jake Silverstein started editing the New York Times Magazine in May 2014, after six years editing Texas Monthly. During Silverstein’s tenure as editor, then editor-in-chief at Texas Monthly,the magazine was a finalist for 15 National Magazine … Read more

Refugee children usually appear in the news media because they’ve died in a shocking accident, or they’re seen as a threat to the social order or the security of a nation where they’ve fled. In … Read more

From Nieman Reports

Harnessing the Power of Video Games for Journalism

January 11, 2016

News-based games have tremendous storytelling potential. So why aren’t more news outlets making them?

Anthony Ronzio Gabor Degre/BDN Over the past two years the Bangor Daily News, a small-town newspaper in central Maine, has made a name … Read more

Story Craft

From Esquire Classic: Tom Junod on Profiling Hillary Clinton

January 13, 2016

Tom Junod, whose profile of Hillary Clinton is in the February issue of Esquire, on the former First Lady’s evolution as presidential candidate

In cities across the country, hundreds of thousands of homeless men, women and children live on the streets. We pass by them every day, yet they are almost invisible to society, willfully ignored by most.… Read more

When I was a child, my father would sometimes mention The Great Southern Novel he’d always wanted to write. I remember the protagonist as a poor, small-town man who’d somehow made a go of it … Read more