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Contributor Archives: Beth Macy

Writing the book: Beth Macy and ‘Factory Man’

In the fall of 2011, I began reporting stories about the aftereffects of globalization on small factory towns in southern Virginia, for the Roanoke Times. For the next three years, I spent most of my waking moments turning that three-part series into a 120,000-word book, Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local [...]

New York Times editor Bill Keller on narrative’s future: three “threats” to it he’s not buying

New York Times executive editor Bill Keller thinks the death of narrative journalism has been greatly exaggerated—and he brought some examples to Boston University’s 2010 narrative conference Saturday to prove it: A man standing in line at a store, scrolling through Dexter Filkins’ 10,000-word magazine cover story on Afghanistan, for instance—on his Blackberry. The lede of Gene [...]

Gay Talese at Boston University narrative conference: “I don’t want something juicy; I want the closest I can get to the truth”

The son of Italian immigrants grew up in a house where there were virtually no books. In the small, World War II-era town of Ocean City, N.J., Gay Talese spent afternoons listening to plump ladies with deep pockets tell stories from across the counter of his mother’s dress shop. They were talking about the war, [...]

The end of the line for the Lone Ranger? A how-to guide for narrative collaboration

When The Roanoke Times “Age of Uncertainty” won Documentary Project of the Year from Pictures of the Year International, it wasn’t the narrative writing or the photography or the Web design they wanted our insights on. They asked us to speak at their 2009 conference about a topic more nuanced and, I would argue, more important [...]