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Tag Archives: John McPhee

Annotation Tuesday! Rebecca Skloot and the wild dogs of New York

Before Rebecca Skloot published the bestselling The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, she wrote magazines stories about science and about animals. You may remember her New York Times magazine piece “Fixing Nemo,” about goldfish surgery, and her O, the Oprah Magazine story on the neuroscience of why it’s so hard to change. In one of [...]

The Music of Narrative: Songs from great literary journalism

A story without sound lies too dead on the page. Imagine “Mrs. Kelly’s Monster,” by Jon Franklin, without the pop … pop … pop of the operating-room sensors. Or Tom Wolfe’s “The Girl of the Year” — the 1964 New York magazine classic on “it” girl Jane Holzer — without the manic rhythms: She is gorgeous [...]

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 [...]

Watch Kurt Vonnegut demystify story structure with a fairy tale and a piece of chalk

A couple of years ago, in a Storyboard piece on John McPhee‘s gorgeously built Encounters with the Archdruid, the acclaimed author Adam Hochschild wrote about narrative structure: A few years ago I was with a young cousin, a college student who told me she was majoring in civil engineering. “I’ve never really understood,” I asked her. [...]

Top 10 Top 10 Lists — storytelling edition

Because why not a list of lists? Ten* worth the storyteller’s time: 1) “130 years of must-read stories for digital journalists: five lessons from 1851-1981,” by Abraham Hyatt, editor of the data-driven investigative project Oakland Police Beat. His top three (we agree, so much, with Ben Hecht’s “The Pig”): 1: You can report on technology [...]

Pinned: Thanksgiving Week reading

Our Pinterest boards grow daily with recommended reading/watching/listening, and with storytelling tips, narrative news, gear, and more. We curate the best of the collection here on Storyboard weekly. In case you get any down time between the turkey, the football, the shopping, the napping, here’s a bit of Thanksgiving Week reading. Enjoy. From our Recommended Reading board: [...]

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 [...]

Nieman Lab summer reading + Barry Hannah + the brain and dramatic arc + a Japanese pitching sensation + a new board

Pinned this week for your storytelling pleasure: The Recommended board has been especially busy: • Our sister pub Nieman Lab has been engaging in a little summer reading from our Nieman Foundation library, a treasure trove that spans our 75-year history as the world’s oldest and best-known study program for journalists. Ours is “one of [...]

Inside 40 Towns: literary journalism, Dartmouth students and a professor who wanted more

If you’ve been following 40 Towns, the new literary journalism magazine produced by Jeff Sharlet’s creative nonfiction students at Dartmouth, you’ve seen longform stories about ex-cons, a roadside motel, a bead shop, a diner, a homeless woman named Tecumseh, and more — stories that get inside the lives of people of the Upper Valley. Sharlet’s [...]

Pamela Colloff and Tom Junod talk storytelling

At the recent City & Regional Magazine Association conference in Atlanta, Esquire’s Tom Junod and Texas Monthly’s Pamela Colloff interviewed each other for an audience of narrative lovers. Atlanta magazine’s Tony Rehagen kindly recorded the session exclusively for Storyboard. You can hear the conversation in its entirety (an hour and 22 minutes) below, with an introduction by Steve [...]