We admired the cinematic quality of this piece. Raghavan moves his lens from image to image, providing vivid concrete detail, at times moving in close, at other times stepping back for a wider view. We liked that he establishes the first person right away. Structurally, the piece begins in media res, then moves to background, then returns to the scene and continues chronologically (a typical and effective structure for article-length nonfiction narrative). In the second half he transcribes eerie dialogue captured by his tape recorder after the blast. The scenes following, and the piece as a whole, portray chaos, confusion and violence through deliberate and poised prose.
Read “In an Instant, a Junkyard of Humanity,” by Sudarsan Raghavan