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Tag Archives: Richard Ben Cramer

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 [...]

Writing the book: Jason Fagone and ‘Ingenious’

I got the deal to write my first book, Horsemen of the Esophagus, in the spring of 2005. I’d been out of college for four years at that point, writing for two different magazines, in Cincinnati and Philadelphia. I’d never written anything longer than 7,000 words, but writing a book had always been a dream [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 74: Charlie Pierce and Tiger Woods

I think it’s fair to say that most of America was shocked when news of Tiger Woods’ sex scandal broke in late 2009. I’m also pretty sure that anyone who had read “The Man. Amen.” by Charles P. Pierce, in Esquire, from 12 years earlier, just nodded and said, “Yup, sounds about right.” Pierce’s piece [...]

What he gave: Richard Ben Cramer

When Richard Ben Cramer died Monday, at 62, of lung cancer, the outpouring of grief and gratitude began immediately. It’s hard to find a narrative journalist or a serious political writer that Cramer didn’t influence with What It Takes: The Way to the White House, his 1,047-page saga of the 1988 presidential race, or with [...]

“The Power of Storytelling,” Part 4: Chris Jones on why stories matter, Pat Walters on endings, Walt Harrington on integrity

In Part 3 of our recap of Romania’s “Power of Storytelling” conference on narrative journalism, radio producer Starlee Kine talked about story forms and themes; Esquire‘s Mike Sager talked about listening, and about suspending disbelief; and Pulitzer winner Alex Tizon talked about writing one’s own story. In Part 2, Pulitzer winner Jacqui Banaszynski wrote a short essay about why she and eight other North American [...]

“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. [...]