LeDuff got a job on the cutting floor at a North Carolina slaughterhouse, where the work burns your muscles and dulls your mind. He hacked meat off of bone and watched blacks compete with Mexicans to survive under the watch of supervisor whites. LeDuff masterfully portrays the plant’s brutal conditions at the level of felt life—the smells, sounds, sensations, emotions and gruesome sights of the place. We admire the unflinching reporting, tone and insights. This is an excellent example for students of narrative who want to know how to bring power into their writing using detail and evidence, rather than hype.
Read “At a Slaughterhouse, Some Things Never Die,” by Charlie LeDuff