Archive: Nov 2009

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The Guardian essay on Hindu super-temples? It might be news to you (and me)

By Short Takes November 9, 2009

Talking about narrative journalism, The St. Petersburg Times’ Lane DeGregory once told me “One of the stupidest stories I ever did had the biggest response. It was an 'up all night' piece about what happens between midnight and 6:00 am. I had all these old ladies calling me up and saying, ‘I’m never up that late, and I didn’t know about any of this.’ It was so gratifying to take readers someplace.” Taking readers someplace they are unlikely or unable to go is a prime service narrative can provide. Witness these two nicely done but very different stories: [caption id="attachment_972" align="alignleft" width="101" caption="Abhinav Ramnarayan"][/caption] Supermarket, superstores—why not a supertemple? “The Many Gods of Ilford,” a Guardian trend essay on multi-god Hindu temples in former recreation centers, touches on religion and tolerance while revealing that cockroaches can evoke nostalgia. A few useful posted comments about disability, caste, and monotheism add to Abhinav Ramnarayan’s original piece. Over at The Daily Beast, Tim Mohr’s “Did Punk Rock Tear Down the Wall?” looks at the East German '80s punk scene and recounts the career of Die Anderen (“the Others”), a band that straddled the East-West divide. What other keyhole views into history or a community have generated memorable narratives? We’d like to hear from you. Read more

The Power of One

By Notable Narratives November 6, 2009

When high school athlete Bonnie Richardson won the Texas Class 1A track team championship all by herself, it was a big deal. Then she did it again the next year. In the September 28 issue of Sports Illustrated, Gary Smith … Read more

Bursting into song and leaping out the window

By Short Takes November 4, 2009

We often highlight stories from reporters who are well-known in the world of narrative journalism, but a lot of unsung writers slip narratives into print and online daily. Here are some moving stories with sharp scenes or imagery from three people we bet you’ve never heard of. “Sacia's Promise,” from Kaitlin Manry of The (Everett) Herald: "She remembers waking up in the middle of the night, just 2 or 3 years old. Her nightgown is wet. So is her bed. She walks into the living room, calling for her mom. She's not there. Sacia instead finds a stranger, a man, dividing piles of little white rocks spread across the coffee table. The pearly white stones are like baby teeth and crumble when he touches them. She runs back to her bed and stays up all night, kneeling on wet sheets, waiting for a mother who never comes." Read more » Read more

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