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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One Good Thing On Top of Another

By Notable Narratives November 17, 2004

While covering a cookie-stacking contest, Pollak kept asking herself that ever-important question: What and where is the story? So instead of a cutesy, standard piece about a child winning a competition, we get a more quirky and enduring one, in … Read more

Life’s Ups and Downs

By Notable Narratives November 17, 2004

The scale stands at the entrance to the Publix in Hudson, Fla. It catches the attention of passersby; they weigh themselves and react. Through simple reporting—observing people weigh themselves and talking with them about their reactions—DeGregory achieves a surprising richness … Read more

In Her Mother’s Shoes

By Notable Narratives November 16, 2004

This is the last line of the first installment of Bock’s series on AIDS in Africa: “For two days and two nights, while the men tend the fire outside, the women inside will clap and leap and cry, their … Read more

The Boy Behind the Mask

By Notable Narratives November 16, 2004

Hallman spent hundreds of hours and more than 10 months reporting for this series, about a disfigured young boy in Oregon. He says he did very little reconstruction, that most of the scenes are based on his observation. We admire … Read more

Three Little Words

By Notable Narratives November 16, 2004

In 1989 Jane Morse’s husband, Mick, tells her he has AIDS and, as Clark writes, Jane suddenly suspects that her long marriage has been a lie. A reader may at first keep reading this 29-installment series—each piece designed to be … Read more

The Weight of a Family’s Hopes

By Notable Narratives November 16, 2004

Hull uses detail to full effect but also embeds comments in her narrative that advance her larger point. Notice this phrase in the lead paragraph of this third installment: Amy’s school supplies are “all the gear needed for a well-planned … Read more

The Terrorist Within

By Notable Narratives November 16, 2004

This series was written by Hal Bernton, Mike Carter, David Heath and James Neff. It builds plot skillfully, progressing through a classic beginning, middle and end. It also offers what seems to us to be rare in these dangerous … Read more

Getting In

By Notable Narratives November 16, 2004

Gross’s series is an example of using profile to examine larger social contexts or processes, in this case the college-admissions game. The style is airy, the content more weighty, the mix of which makes the piece both entertaining and substantive. Read more