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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Choosing Naia

By Notable Narratives March 15, 2005

This six-part narrative is now a classic, instructive for its solid structure, rounded characters and close reporting. Notice the ways that Zuckoff weaves medical background and the details of Naia’s case into the narrative. He also reports finely, choosing pertinent … Read more

Storm Gods and Heroes

By Notable Narratives March 10, 2005

How did Lewan make this piece so compelling? Of course, the event is made for narrative. But notice how it’s told: the relentlessly active verbs—the ship teeters and plunges, the water sloshes, the windspeed spikes—the vivid detail, strong pace and … Read more

Countdown to Landfall

By Notable Narratives March 10, 2005

When Bill Adair e-mailed us this piece, he wrote, “It’s an instant narrative. Just add water.” The action, tension, suspense—they’re ready-made. We notice the effective use of team reporting, which enables the reader to be in many places at once. Read more

Act One: A Storm Gathers

By Notable Narratives March 10, 2005

How many leads can you think of that focus on smell? We admire the first seven paragraphs of this piece. They’re evocative, authoritative and efficient. Kiernan told an audience at the 2003 Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism that she did … Read more

When to Campaign with Color

By Notable Narratives March 8, 2005

In the series of which this piece is a part, the Times used narrative and insightful reporting to uncover the often hidden ways that race is “lived” in America. Egan writes about two Washington State politicians—Gary Locke, a Chinese-American, and … Read more

Habit That Could Have Killed

By Notable Narratives March 1, 2005

Kruse has a knack for infusing even his more newsy stories with a non-official, folksy voice. He often achieves a friendly yet authoritative tone. In this piece, his tone is a mix of muted drama, compassion and detachment. It’s an … Read more

Burden of Innocence

By Notable Narratives February 28, 2005

Among the things that strike us in this story are the paradoxes Schultz skillfully points to: Racism helped send Green wrongfully to prison; in prison he transformed himself; out of prison he’s better able to cope with the biases he … Read more

Una Vida Mejor

By Notable Narratives February 25, 2005

Hull follows a group of Mexican women who journey north to la tortilla grande, as they call the U.S., and shuck blue crabs as "guest workers" on the North Carolina coast. The series’ plot, scenes and characters unfold in the … Read more