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Contributor Archives: Ben Yagoda

The sense of an ending: Ben Yagoda on A.J. Liebling, Katherine Boo, Sonia Nazario, John Jeremiah Sullivan, David Foster Wallace, Joseph Mitchell and more

Whether you spell them “ledes” or “leads,” opening lines get a lot of attention. And why wouldn’t they? Sitting at the keyboard, with all the tedious and sometimes annoying reporting done, a writer is spoiled for choice, a world of possibilities at his or her disposal. To be sure, that seemingly limitless choice can be [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 47: Calvin Trillin and classic Edna Buchanan

Where is Edna Buchanan when we need her? Admittedly, the lede on this recent Associated Press story wasn’t half bad: MIAMI — A witness says a naked man chewing on the face of another naked man on a downtown highway ramp kept eating and growled at a police officer, who fatally shot him to make him stop. [...]