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Category Archives: annotation tuesday!

Annotation Tuesday! Roger Angell and the pitcher with a major-league case of the yips

Roger Angell has been writing stories about baseball since the year before John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He’s been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1944 and became fiction editor in 1956. His June 1975 profile of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Steve Blass — who suffered, legendarily, from the yips — is among his favorites. “Down [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Jeff Sharlet and the iron closet

Last week, on the eve of the Sochi Olympics, GQ published “Inside the Iron Closet,” a Jeff Sharlet story that revealed disturbing details about what it’s like to be gay in Russia. The timing dovetailed with Human Rights Watch’s renewed admonition that Russia address the “deteriorating situation” of LGBT harassment and violence. Sharlet, author of the [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Buzz Bissinger and “The Killing Trail”

Buzz Bissinger’s “The Killing Trail” — his unremittingly bleak 1995 account of “fag-bashing” in Texas — was his first story for Vanity Fair. (He is still a contributor, and has a story in the February issue.) Bissinger took on the story after an editor approached him. From start to finish, “The Killing Trail” took about [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Lillian Ross and Ernest Hemingway

It’s easy, now, to see Lillian Ross’s 1950 New Yorker Profile of Ernest Hemingway for what it is: a masterpiece. But 63 years ago, this wasn’t so obvious. Ross, as one Hemingway biographer put it, was seen by her critics as “a journalistic Delilah” who had written a “hatchet job.” In truth, her sin was [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Gay Talese and “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold”

Gay Talese lives on the East Side of Manhattan, in a four-story brownstone he moved into in 1958, at age 26. When we met there recently to talk about his iconic Esquire profile “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” we chatted in a room that, in a house of such grandeur, one would have to call the [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Sebastian Junger and the perfect storm

The magazine story behind Sebastian Junger‘s celebrated nonfiction book A Perfect Storm ran in Outside magazine in October 1994. “The Storm” (4,765 words) told the story of the Andrea Gail, a fishing boat out of Gloucester, Mass., that sank amid horrific weather, killing everyone aboard. It’s a harrowing narrative, and particularly remarkable for being — by virtue [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Eli Saslow and one Newtown family

Our Annotation Tuesday! series takes readers line by line through a notable piece of writing — with the author. Occasionally, we bring in a guest annotator. Elon Green, of The Awl and Longform.org, most recently looked at Leslie Jamison’s “Fog Count,” a reported essay from The Oxford American. And today we have Andy Kroll, a staff writer for Mother Jones magazine, [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Leslie Jamison and the imprisoned ultradistance runner

Leslie Jamison‘s “Fog Count,” which ran in the spring issue of The Oxford American, is hard to pin down. Its subject matter is, ostensibly, jailed ultramarathon runner Charlie Engle — whom Jamison has profiled once before — but it’s also a meditation on incarceration and a dirge for a ravaged planet. Jamison, who is also an accomplished [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Amy Wallace and one of “the most despised and feared” men in Hollywood

When Amy Wallace profiled then-Variety editor Peter Bart for Los Angeles magazine, she took on issues of access, personality, misdirection, industry politics, journalism and retaliation. To write about a guy who’s been called “the most hated man in Hollywood” demands guts and patience. To pull it off as she did requires a certain tact and [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Eli Saslow and the family con

A top reporter and storyteller, Eli Saslow was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing two weeks ago for his story about a struggling swimming pool salesman.Today, in the latest installment of our Annotation Tuesday! series, we’re looking at another of Saslow’s pieces, one that he wrote for ESPN The Magazine, about Rumeal Robinson, a former University [...]