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Tag Archives: The Awl

“Why’s this (sentence) so good?” Daniel Solomon on Gore Vidal on William F. Buckley Jr.

Editor’s note: This is the inaugural installment of our “Why’s this (sentence) so good?” series, in which a writer analyzes a favorite line from a piece of journalistic storytelling. As we explained last week, we’ll fold the series into our regular “Why’s this so good?” series, the archive of which you can read here.  The [...]

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! 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The best in narrative, 2012: Storyboard’s top picks in audio, magazines, newspapers and online

Welcome to Storyboard’s first annual year-end roundup of top storytelling: 34 of our favorite pieces in audio, magazines, newspapers and online, with three of the categories guest curated by Mark Armstrong (online), Julia Barton and Julie Shapiro (audio), and Ben Montgomery, Michael Kruse and Thomas Lake (newspapers). This was a strong year for storytelling, and it was hard to choose. You’ll find pieces that [...]

Jay Caspian Kang on the heart of gambling narratives: “All you remember, really, is losing”

We talked by phone this week with Jay Caspian Kang, author of The Morning News essay “The High Is Always the Pain, and the Pain Is Always the High,” our latest Notable Narrative. Kang, who has written for deadspin and theAtlantic.com, has also created the Kang Diva System, a mathematical method of ranking female singers [...]

Richard Morgan on payback, freelancing and the myth of the “made man”

Richard Morgan recently found a new measure of fame writing about writing, with his funny/terrifying piece “Seven Years as a Freelance Writer, or, How to Make Vitamin Soup.” Though Morgan’s work has appeared in some of the best-known outlets in print journalism – from New York magazine to Wired and The New York Times – [...]