Archive: Feb 2007

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Natural Narratives

By Story Craft February 16, 2007

[Editor’s Note: These comments are adapted from a talk given by Michael Pollan at the 2006 Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism.] Book by book, project by project, it’s usually hard to say who you are as a writer or what … Read more

Dust and Snow

By Notable Narratives February 14, 2007

This piece is one in a series of stories Nijhuis wrote for the High Country News that uses narrative techniques to get at the complicated issue of climate change. This story is indirectly related to the global warming, but like … Read more

Science’s Glacial Strides

By Notable Narratives February 14, 2007

This is travel writing brought to science. Nijhuis joins a group of scientists and students at a camp on a glacier. She’s a seasoned writer on the environment; her pieces for the High Country News don’t skimp on science. This … Read more

Jamestown Mystery: A Grave Story

By Notable Narratives February 14, 2007

This is another narative-as-scientific-mystery by Tennant, in which she creates suspense by drawing us into the lives of early settlers, raising a question and proceeding—with strong voice and narrative structure—to answer it. Along the way we are reminded how easy … Read more

The Fastest Man on Earth

By Notable Narratives February 13, 2007

This is an excerpt from “The Guinea Pig Doctors,” a book by Jon Franklin and John Sutherland about eight doctors who experimented on themselves in pursuit of knowledge. In this chapter John Paul Stapp gets strapped into a rocket sled … Read more

What Makes People Gay?

By Notable Narratives February 13, 2007

A model of clear explication of complex ideas, this piece shows how a sense of arc and suspense can be achieved in the form of amiable-narrator-in-pursuit-of-ideas. Swidey begins the piece with a scene in which identical twins show marked differences. Read more

Untangling the Mystery of the Inca

By Notable Narratives February 13, 2007

In this dense but accessible piece, Cook creates suspense by pursuing an intellectual mystery, a compelling question. He follows a group of scholars in their effort to figure out whether collections of knots made by the Incan civilization were the … Read more

Why Is It So Damn Hard to Change

By Notable Narratives February 12, 2007

This piece is typical of a certain type of piece in women’s magazines: the first-person science story. In a companionable and accessible voice, Skloot links complicated science to her own life and thus provides useful information about a question that … Read more