Ana Flores was walking with her three-year-old daughter in downtown Chicago when a piece of window glass got loose from a building, fell and killed Ana.

Kiernan writes about the incident with clean and active sentences. We admired her reconstruction of the event: “No one knows exactly how much time the glass took to fall: 25 seconds at most, perhaps as few as five. It may have floated, flat as a table, for a time, or tumbled like a leaf. But gravity eventually pulled it into an angled or vertical position, so it cut down like a knife.”

Kiernan’s account of Ana’s death and of her daughter’s plight is clearly told and deliberately and movingly revealed. She joins the more emotional material with an effective account of the city’s response, the legal issues surrounding the incident and Ana’s family’s development of a case against the owner of the building. The intimate narrative of Ana’s death makes the less-personal material compelling. The policy coverage, in turn, gives the piece perspective and weight.

Read “Danger From Above,” by Louise Kiernan

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