Men try to escape from a balcony of the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Jan. 21, 2018, two-and-a-half years before the Taliban reclaimed the country. Gunmen stormed the hotel and set off a 12-hour gun battle with security forces that continued into Sunday morning, as frantic guests tried to escape from fourth and fifth-floor windows.

Why's This So Good?

A brutal murder, a welcoming pub and an elegiac essay of place

May 15, 2024

An Irish Times writer refused the easy draw of a lurid murder, and instead delivered a deadline ode to community

Why's This So Good?

A “wise and lovely” essay enchants the reader in a fellow writer

October 24, 2023

A friend and former colleague analyzes the grace in a meditation by Ann Finkbeiner about the passing of seasons and years

Why's This So Good?

A profile of rival athletic greats becomes an exploration of a great friendship

August 10, 2023

Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins aces an off-court story about Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, competition, cancer, battles and bonds

Why's This So Good?

What to do when pronouns can confuse

June 29, 2023

A New York Times news story offers a model for how to use language that is current, flexible, inclusive and clear

Strictly Q&A

Six profiles and a first-person approach give dignity to the many faces of homelessness

April 21, 2023

A reporter for the Chicago Reader teams with a freelance photographer to document the personal cost of society's "lattice of failure"

Why's This So Good?

An annotated guide to narrative magic

April 12, 2023

Pulitzer-Prize winning feature writer Lane DeGregory shares the techniques behind her vivid storytelling in a new anthology of her stories

Why's This So Good?

Challenging the stereotype of Uvalde’s plucky child survivor

January 27, 2023

John Woodrow Cox invests time, attention and empathy to profile a girl who became the public voice of the town's messy recovery from trauma

Why's This So Good?

Personal stories on what Afghan women want the rest of us to know

October 11, 2022

A young journalist who escaped Afghanistan returns a year later, by remote, to report the reality for the women left behind

Why's This So Good?

Dan Barry, baseball and the love of the (writing) game

July 27, 2022

An exploration of mud becomes a meditation on America's pastime through the sharp, romantic view of The New York Times master storyteller

Why's This So Good?

“I’m-not-a-journalist” newspaper columnist writes about community, parenting and letting go

June 17, 2022

In nine taut paragraphs, a community newspaper columnist captures a specific place and the universal reality of parenthood

Why's This So Good?

A documentary film breaks rules and wins an Oscar

May 27, 2022

A young filmmaker analyzes why Ben Proudfoots short doc, "The Queen of Basketball," makes her cry, and why that makes it a successful film

Why's This So Good?

What happens when fandom backfires in a culture of censorship

March 29, 2022

"Dream Boy and the Poison Fans," from the NPR podcast "Rough Translation," finds universal themes in a do-you-believe-this story from China