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Tag Archives: Albany Times Union

The Good Fight

This is a classic narrative of overcoming obstacles. We liked Earls’ use of Bea’s hands as a unifying motif. Bea’s character is engaging in part because she is atypical, at least to most middle-class readers: the girl who fights. Earls captures well Bea’s complexity, her challenges and aspirations.

Another Chance at Life

We like the lead in this piece: It’s got nice detail and foreshadows death. Gurnett then reconstructs her main character’s suicide attempt. We’d like to propose that the piece would be even better if it were even more purely narrative, if Gurnett had taken characters’ retrospective comments out of quotes, embedded them in the narrative. [...]

For Dear Life

We particularly like the first several sections of this piece. Earls provides an effective sequential experience for her readers: first a cliffhanger beginning, then an efficient summary of the topic, then an authoritative composite of her main character, Katherine. We readers feel we’re in good hands. Yet we found the fact that Earls does not [...]

Lequan: The Lost Boy

We’re always glad to find effective, solidly written and reported pieces in papers other than the Heavy Hitters. We appreciated the close, thorough reporting in this piece, the lucid attention to Lequan’s inner life and struggles. We e-mailed Earls to ask her about issues of access and reconstruction. She describes her process of gaining the [...]

A Hidden Addiction Fuels a Life of Chaos

Gurnett’s attitude in this piece is curious, compassionate, never melodramatic. Gurnett achieves "narrative distance," a detachment from her subject, even as she seeks to understand him. Her writing has more voice than we often find in smaller papers: She uses bold verbs, punchy sentences—a style with attitude, which makes the piece a good read. On [...]