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A Cold-Blooded Liar

By Notable Narratives February 8, 2005

Stuart Warner, an editor and writing coach at The Plain Dealer, wrote to us: "’Cold Blooded Liar’ is not a pure narrative. It was written by our investigative reporter and I edited it. We compromised, using some traditional investigative writing … Read more

Suspicion in the Ranks

By Notable Narratives February 3, 2005

This investigative-narrative series follows the story of James Yee, a Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo who was charged with espionage. It’s a well-written and well-structured piece, an illuminating account with a clear narrative arc, and a good model for ambitious reconstructions. Read more

Iraq Breaks From Past

By Notable Narratives February 3, 2005

We admired this piece in part for the way Fassihi’s use of the first person opened up her writing: She didn’t try to squeeze her insights within the more rigid conventions of standard reporting. The transparency of the piece, then—her … Read more

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