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Tag Archives: The New Yorker

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 [...]

Writing the book: Neil Swidey on ‘Trapped Under the Sea’

I love inspirational quotes from august authors as much as the next writer. But the quote I thought about the most during the long years when I was writing my new book, Trapped Under the Sea, didn’t come from an author. I stumbled across it in a New Yorker profile of the writer George R.R. [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 90: George Plimpton and Sidd Finch

Twenty-nine years ago today, Sports Illustrated ran George Plimpton’s “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch,” about a mysterious, unknown major league pitching recruit who threw a fastball at jet speed. Published on April Fools’ Day 1985, the piece carried the following deck: He’s a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent lifestyle, [...]

Storytelling for the win: This year’s ASME finalists

This year’s National Magazine Award nominations in the features, multimedia, reporting and essay/criticism categories cover conflict, immigration, violence, grief, the abortion wars and more, from a host of talented journalists representing a range of publications. The American Society of Magazine Editors will announce the winners on May 1, in New York. Read the full list [...]

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 [...]

10 things you can learn from Roger Angell’s “This Old Man”

The story of the week has been Roger Angell’s “This Old Man” (The New Yorker). Angell is widely revered for his body of work on baseball, but in this piece he writes about what it’s like to be 93. As James Fallows put it, in The Atlantic: You don’t often read things in the periodical press [...]

“Why’s this so good?” – The badass women edition

From the “Why’s this so good?” archives, a handful of great reads about, or by, brilliant, brave, inspiring women, featuring Joan Didion, Rita Dove, Calvin Trillin, Julia Barton, Edna Buchanan, Ben Yagoda, Walt Harrington and Jennifer B. McDonald: In No. 47, The New Yorker‘s Calvin Trillin hangs out with Edna Buchanan, who, in the 1980s, [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Buzz Bissinger and “The Killing Trail”

Buzz Bissinger’s “The Killing Trail” — his unremittingly bleak 1995 account of “fag-bashing” in Texas — was his first story for Vanity Fair. (He is still a contributor, and has a story in the February issue.) Bissinger took on the story after an editor approached him. From start to finish, “The Killing Trail” took about [...]

Meet the Storytellers: The Nieman Class of 2014

Every fellow who comes through Lippmann House is a storyteller of a sort, whether with words or visuals or data or sound. The Class of 2014 arrived from across journalistic disciplines, and from a wide range of backgrounds*, as you’ll see in this academic year’s meet-the-fellows post. As the current Niemans settle in to the [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 88: Katherine Boo and the marriage cure

Katharine Boo begins her 2003 New Yorker piece “The Marriage Cure” with one of my all-time favorite opening lines: One July morning last year in Oklahoma City, in a public-housing project named Sooner Haven, twenty-two-year-old Kim Henderson pulled a pair of low-rider jeans over a high-rising gold lamé thong and declared herself ready for church. [...]