This story reconstructs the experience of Johan Otter, who was attacked by a grizzly while hiking in Glacier National Park with his daughter. The first section tells the story of the attack and of Otter’s rescue. The second installment chronicles Otter’s recovery. Tom Curwen e-mailed us that his experience with the piece “convinces me that the salvation of newspapers lies in narratives.”

He wrote us that the online story package received more than 533,000 hits. The print version ran in the Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times and six other papers. And: “I have received nearly 400 emails from readers. One was disappointed that the time sequence in the story jumped around so much. Another did not like it that the Times chose to publish the story 18 months after the attack itself. The rest were over-the-top with praise.”

Our favorites among the comments Curwen received: “I never buy papers during the week, but your piece in Sunday’s edition compelled me to buy Monday’s paper to read the rest of Johan and Jenna’s story.” And: “Please tell your editors that my entire household as well as half of all the passengers waiting at gate number 24 at the Oakland Airport yesterday were enraptured by the story, not just because of the drama but also for its spirit and sensitivity.”

Read “Attacked by a Grizzly,” by Thomas Curwen

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