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An Otherwise Ordinary Day

By Notable Narratives January 3, 2005

Bock reconstructs the story of customs inspectors in Port Angeles, Wash., a small remote city on the Olympic Peninsula. The officials detained—then chased and caught—Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian who’d tried to enter the U.S. from Canada with the makings of … Read more

Here: In Etna

By Notable Narratives November 18, 2004

This is a neat topic, conducive to good scene with its unusual site, strong characters and broad reason to care: the dying practice of setting up pins by hand. Batz achieves a nice, light tone with his snappy lead. He … Read more

The Umpire’s Sons

By Notable Narratives November 18, 2004

We must admit we approached this piece about a father and his ill sons with a bit of weariness: another story about suffering children, death, loss. The piece is wrenching. It’s also beautifully done. The lead sets up poignant … Read more

Death to Blasphemers

By Notable Narratives November 18, 2004

There are many things to admire in Bearak’s collection of pieces for which he won a 2002 Pulitzer. We’ll just point out, for this piece about pre-9/11 Pakistan, his tone: It’s dry, almost wry, which allows for both the seriousness … Read more

Two Americas, Two Restaurants, One Town

By Notable Narratives November 18, 2004

Skloot explores the parallel political, cultural and gastronomic universes of two restaurants: a locally owned, eccentric bistro and a Bob Evans. We happened to read this piece not long after reading “Just Getting By,” a first-person account in The (Cleveland) … Read more

Fighting for Life on Level 3

By Notable Narratives November 18, 2004

For this remarkable piece of reporting, Hallman gained first access into the ward, via the administrators, and then, more vitally, access into the “hearts and minds” of the nurses. Hallman told the listserv WriterL that he got into the ward … Read more

Lequan: The Lost Boy

By Notable Narratives November 18, 2004

We’re always glad to find effective, solidly written and reported pieces in papers other than the Heavy Hitters. We appreciated the close, thorough reporting in this piece, the lucid attention to Lequan’s inner life and struggles. We e-mailed Earls to … Read more