Take a gander at some of the more interesting writing we’ve seen lately. These pieces are more or less narrative, and come at storytelling from different angles, but are all are worth checking out.
An Indian narrative journalism magazine called The Caravan launched this month. Or perhaps re-launched might be the better term, as publisher Delhi Press traces the magazine’s roots to a journal with the same name founded in 1940 by Vishva Nath. The Caravan bills itself as an Indian Granta or Harper’s, and for the cover of its January issue, offers a straightforward but informative story on how the Indian-American community goes about lobbying Washington. Inside is a meditation on Lyari in Karachi written by Fatima Bhutto that made us want more: “The British worked Karachi to the ground, but never to its death.”
What do you do when you’re an MBA who’s having hard luck finding a job? If you’re Don Gould, and you have three kids you’d like to teach about the importance of a work ethic, you start as a bag boy at Publix. But it’s not so simple. From Michael Kruse of the St. Petersburg Times.
If you had won the world chess championship at the age of 22, you would probably have coasted on it for the rest of your life. But you are not Garry Kasparov. Kasparov went on to dominate the world of chess for two decades, and then took up a career in politics as a burr under the saddle of Vladimir Putin. But that is still not enough to keep Kasparov busy, and so here he writes a book review—well, we think it’s a book review, but it’s more about Kasparov going up against ever-better computers as technology has improved and why the focus on supercomputers may be missing the point. Not an intimate narrative voice, but with an opening line about playing chess against 32 computers at once, who can resist? In The New York Review of Books.
After our focus last week on multimedia projects using poetry in journalism, we were thrilled to hear that gifted author Sherman Alexie had dashed off some nonfiction sports poetry in a matter of hours for ESPN, in an effort to get Allen Iverson not to play in February’s NBA All-Star Game in Dallas. (Thanks to Laura Nathan-Garner for spotting this one.) Alexie has long taken an interest in basketball and protested the Seattle SuperSonics’ departure for Oklahoma City mightily, so we will consider this a sort of poetry op-ed. At any rate, we at Storyboard are in favor of Alexie’s newsroom-style spirit and his ability to deliver on a self-imposed deadline. The poem? Not so much. (But you can see the winter issue of Contrary to take a look at some of his more serious work.)