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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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

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