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America’s New Friends

By Notable Narratives July 8, 2005

There’s no real narrative structure here, but the piece contains scenes that reveal much, that stand out for their lovely writing. Like his other story on Uzbekistan that’s included on this site, but to a lesser degree, this piece has … Read more

Fixing Nemo

By Notable Narratives July 7, 2005

Here’s an example of a piece that has a narrative feel despite not having exactly a narrative arc. Its voice and humor and neat scenes make for an engaging read. Read “Fixing Nemo,” by Rebecca Skloot … Read more

A Gown for Lindsay Rose

By Notable Narratives July 7, 2005

According to this narrative’s editor’s note, French began covering this story 24 hours after the baby had died. He ended up focusing the narrative on a labor and delivery nurse. We were interested in this good choice of focus. On … Read more

What Are We Going To Do with Dad?

By Notable Narratives July 1, 2005

We include this narrative essay by a physician—published in a health care journal—because it’s a great example of the ways that narrative can enliven and enlighten discourse about complicated and difficult topics. Winakur dispenses with the sterilized language of health … Read more

Their Eyes Are Wide Open

By Notable Narratives June 21, 2005

This piece takes on the theme of idealism; the two others in the paper’s series (of which we are aware) took on themes of optimism and fear. These latter pieces address their themes head-on, as in “Now I’m going write … Read more

A Journey to Water’s Edge

By Notable Narratives June 21, 2005

We admired the efficient, effective structuring of the reader’s experience, the muscular approach to an unusual narrative. And we think the writing even does Raymond Carver justice. Read “A Journey to the Water’s Edge,” by Thomas Lake … Read more

Crossing Over

By Notable Narratives June 8, 2005

This piece is built around an extraordinary character, an extraordinary setting—Gee’s Bend, Ala.—and tells an extraordinary history. Moehringer’s voice does the subject justice: The voice is at once eloquent and plain, like the language of his protagonist, Mary Lee. The … Read more

Thy Kingdom Come

By Notable Narratives June 6, 2005

This is a finely reconstructed account of a charismatic leader who moved into a town and changed nearly everything about it. We like Lewan’s opening paragraphs: His language suggests legend or origin myth—the tribal elder saying, “Have a seat, young … Read more