Usually we want newspaper narratives with highly emotional content to connect with some larger public issue; otherwise they’re so often mawkish, sentimental. But there are also, of course, plenty of pieces so well written that they stand on their own. They’re worth reading in the way that good fiction is: they help us meaningfully connect with the human experience. This piece meets that standard.

A quibble is that we found the lead sentence poetic but confusing; it took several readings to get its drift. But beyond it, the story—of Tyler Krus, the loss of his parents and his heroic but complicated efforts to care for his brother and build a normal life—is both delicately and boldly rendered. We particularly admired the ending, its literary grace.

Read “Two Brothers Make a Family,” by Abigail Tucker

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