Notable Narratives

Reflections on classic stories that endure through time, or on new narratives that expand the possibilities of story work.

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Making the Time Count

By Notable Narratives November 7, 2005

We appreciate the respectful, compassionate and detached stance of this piece. Streeter writes about Arnie Koslow, a lonely man who is looking back on his life as the timekeeper for some of boxing’s greatest matches. The piece’s stance is achieved … Read more

Remembering 89

By Notable Narratives November 7, 2005

Batz does justice to this story’s emotional content without tipping into mawkishness. He achieves this through his poised nut graph and delicate scene-writing. Read “Remembering 89,” by Bob Batz Jr. Read more

Pipeline to Peril

By Notable Narratives October 9, 2005

This is a powerful work of reporting, a devastating account of exploitation. The two-part series tells the story of a group of young Nepalese men who were recruited to work in the Middle East, sent to Iraq against the expectations … Read more

Digging JFK Grave Was His Honor

By Notable Narratives July 8, 2005

Breslin approaches the burial of John Fitzgerald Kennedy from the perspective of his grave digger. It’s a plainly told story—no breathtaking sentences here—but the style is effective in its Hemingway-esque directness. Breslin moves from the gravedigger’s perspective, to a more … Read more

Please Help Me

By Notable Narratives July 8, 2005

French uses the second person here to describe a reporting experience he had in Uzbekistan. This is a “how I got the story” story, in which the narrative consists mainly of the process of reporting. It seems clear that French … Read more

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