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 [...]
Tag Archives: The Daily Beast
The first week of fall term ends today at Harvard, and the Nieman Foundation’s newest class of fellows is settling in. The Nieman fellowship, which next year will celebrate its 75th anniversary, brings together 12 U.S. and 12 international journalists for one year of study across the university. Fellows pursue the topics of their choice, [...]
When I was living in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and came back sometime later to see what was left, one of the things I found was the November 1998 issue of Esquire magazine. The cover with Mister Rogers on it was faded, and the pages were worn thin from rereading. There may have been [...]
Talking about narrative journalism, The St. Petersburg Times’ Lane DeGregory once told me
“One of the stupidest stories I ever did had the biggest response. It was an ‘up all night’ piece about what happens between midnight and 6:00 am. I had all these old ladies calling me up and saying, ‘I’m never up that late, and I didn’t know about any of this.’ It was so gratifying to take readers someplace.”
Taking readers someplace they are unlikely or unable to go is a prime service narrative can provide. Witness these two nicely done but very different stories:[caption id="attachment_972" align="alignleft" width="101" caption="Abhinav Ramnarayan"][/caption]
Supermarket, superstores—why not a supertemple? “The Many Gods of Ilford,” a Guardian trend essay on multi-god Hindu temples in former recreation centers, touches on religion and tolerance while revealing that cockroaches can evoke nostalgia. A few useful posted comments about disability, caste, and monotheism add to Abhinav Ramnarayan’s original piece.
Over at The Daily Beast, Tim Mohr’s “Did Punk Rock Tear Down the Wall?” looks at the East German ’80s punk scene and recounts the career of Die Anderen (“the Others”), a band that straddled the East-West divide.
What other keyhole views into history or a community have generated memorable narratives? We’d like to hear from you.