Constance Hale

About Constance Hale

Constance Hale

Constance Hale is a California journalist and the author of six books, including the writing primer Sin and Syntax. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Atlantic, Honolulu, Smithsonian, Wired, and many other newspapers and magazines. From 2007-2010 she taught writing at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, and she directed three conferences during her tenure there.

The Collar and the Gun

By Notable Narratives March 6, 2009

The life and death of an American Catholic in Africa provides the subject for this month’s Notable Narrative, “The Collar and the Gun.” The three-part serial draws out narrative details that make Kaiser’s missionary lifestyle come alive, from the brown … Read more

Fixing Mr. Fix-it

By Notable Narratives February 6, 2009

“Fixing Mr. Fix-it,” this month’s Notable Narrative, tells the story of inadvertent amputation, its medical reversal, and the efforts of Norm Martin—“Mr. Fix-it”’—to recover and resume his life. Author Diane Suchetka deftly describes not just an accident in a body … Read more

Hidden Hurt

By Notable Narratives January 9, 2009

This month’s Notable Narrative, “Hidden Hurt,” from The Washington Post Magazine, addresses poverty, the plight of the uninsured, and the long-term health effects of mining—all by covering one weekend at a county fairground in Wise, Virginia. There, a mobile hospital … Read more

The Revolution Is

By Notable Narratives January 1, 2009

A reporter sets out to see the Cuban countryside on the 50th anniversary of the revolution, tracing the path between the rebels’ landing point in the south and their final victory in the north. From the pages of the Virginia … Read more

From Silver Lake to Suicide

By Notable Narratives December 19, 2008

Some powerful narratives emerge entirely from the storyteller’s unique proximity to history. “From Silver Lake to Suicide: One Family’s Secret History of the Jonestown Massacre” derives its power and structure from an analogous proximity to historical evidence. A handyman working … Read more

The Girl in the Window

By Notable Narratives November 7, 2008

“The Girl in the Window” is the story of Dani, a child so removed from normal human community she has been labeled “feral.” In this St. Petersburg Times piece, Lane DeGregory walks along a delicate tightrope, exploring an abused child’s … Read more

Electoral Projections Done Right

By Notable Narratives October 3, 2008 earns the distinction of being the first blog selected as a Notable Narrative. In his posts, former economic analyst and baseball-stats wunderkind Nate Silver explains the presidential race, using the dramatic tension inherent in the run-up to Election Day … Read more

Ramadi Nights

By Notable Narratives September 5, 2008

In “Ramadi Nights,” author Neil Shea offers up nocturnal desert patrols, pre-dawn home raids, and the dislocated daydreams of servicemen he meets while embedded in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar. Shea’s Virginia Quarterly Review account details his time with … Read more

The Real Work

By Notable Narratives August 8, 2008

Our second notable narrative for this month, “The Real Work,” delves into the legacy of magic and magicians, moving from its youngest apprentices to its veterans and the debate over its future. The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik avoids the temptation … Read more

The Peekaboo Paradox

By Notable Narratives August 8, 2008

Magic requires both deceiver and deceived to make the impossible seem real. In “The Peekaboo Paradox,” author Gene Weingarten sneaks into the private life of a gifted children’s performer to deconstruct his appeal. “The central fact of [the preschooler’s] world—and … Read more