We like the lead in this piece: It’s got nice detail and foreshadows death. Gurnett then reconstructs her main character’s suicide attempt. We’d like to propose that the piece would be even better if it were even more purely narrative, if Gurnett had taken characters’ retrospective comments out of quotes, embedded them in the narrative. For example, when she quotes Bill Jurgens’ wife as saying, “I couldn’t believe we had gone so long with nobody listening to him,” Gurnett might have instead written “She couldn’t believe…” or “She felt…”

Read “Another Chance at Life,” by Kate Gurnett

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