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Blighted Homeland

By Notable Narratives March 14, 2007

This is one of those stories that makes us believe all over again in journalism, in its power to bring truth to light. Pasternak’s use of narrative in certain chapters of the piece makes suffering real. These scenes and characters … Read more

His dream sank, so now what?

By Notable Narratives January 31, 2007

We thought this story notable in part because it’s unusual to read an adventure story that is neither heroic nor triumphant. This is a more character-focused story, a tale of one man who’s struggling with his failed dream. Therolf wrote … Read more

Father, Son and Holy Rift

By Notable Narratives December 13, 2006

“One by one they fell away, the doctrinal pillars of the house his father built.” This is the story of Chuck Smith, Jr., and his movement away from the stern beliefs and fundamentalist community of his father’s church. The story … Read more

Loss and Rebirth in a ’66 Fire

By Notable Narratives November 30, 2006

We notice the structural decisions Anton made in this piece. His first two sections summarize the narrative: Fire fighters are caught by a sudden blaze, and twelve men die. With the third section Anton backs up and begins revisiting the … Read more

A War Only He Can End

By Notable Narratives November 29, 2006

Al Moreno is 60 and wants to join the Marines. He’s haunted by his father’s defection from the armed forces during the second world war; he wants the Marines to send him to Iraq so he can redress this painful … Read more

Odyssey of Healing

By Notable Narratives November 8, 2006

We appreciated, were even grateful for, Streeter’s exploration of moral and political context in this story. He might have tried to make this a piece about overcoming odds, about the generosity of Americans; instead he focused on the girl’s struggles, … Read more

The Daughter

By Notable Narratives November 8, 2006

Here’s what Erika Hayasaki wrote us when she sent this piece: "This is an example of going back after the news is ‘over’ and finding the richer story. I read the news story in the LA Times one morning. The … Read more

Growing Up Is Fun—Right?

By Notable Narratives August 31, 2006

Hiba Hariri is 14. She’s acting in a play, along with her boyfriend. They have a fight, and then the trouble begins. This piece is a good model for the basic narrative paradigm of complication, development and resolution. And Hayasaki’s … Read more

A Painful Course to College

By Notable Narratives August 30, 2006

Betsy Perez wants to go away to college. She overcomes obstacles and does. We admired this piece in part because it portrays character so effectively and efficiently. It’s also a neat example of showing, in few words, a sympathetic character … Read more

Before the Rumble Seat

By Notable Narratives July 20, 2006

As the auto writer for the Los Angeles Times, Neil got the chance to drive a replica of Karl Friedrich Benz’s first gas-powered car. While describing the run with pleasure, he ties the car to the history of Los Angeles … Read more