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Tag Archives: Truman Capote

“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, [...]

“Why’s this so good?” — the Hollywood edition

From our “Why’s this so good?” archives, a handful of great reads on Hollywood by Raymond Chandler, Truman Capote, Ian Parker and Dave Gardetta, deconstructed for craft and significance by critic Maud Newton, The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal, Wired’s Jason Fagone and Vanity Fair’s Benjamin Wallace: “Raymond Chandler sticks it to Hollywood” — critic Maud Newton deconstructs an Atlantic [...]

Annotation Tuesday! Chris Jones and “Animals”

By now you’ve probably heard the story: In October 2011, a suicidal man named Terry Thompson uncaged dozens of wild animals that he kept on his farm in Zanesville, Ohio, and then shot himself. The sheriff’s department spent a tense night tracking down the animals, killing all that they could find. Of all the inevitable [...]

“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 [...]

“What’s on your syllabus?”

Every narrative journalist can point to a story or a book, or two, that changed their lives, and that made them want to tell true stories. What story does it for you? Where was your love born? When we asked about influential writing via Twitter, answers came in a flurry. Wright Thompson said North Toward Home, [...]

Kiera Feldman on investigative narrative, trauma reporting, true believers and tricky description

In “Grace in Broken Arrow,” our newest Notable Narrative, Brooklyn-based freelancer Kiera Feldman unfurls an investigative story about child sex abuse and institutional accountability at a private evangelical Christian school outside of Tulsa, Okla. The piece ran last week in This Land, a two-year-old web/print magazine in Tulsa that’s drawing acclaim for its long-form stories and [...]

Nieman Storyboard’s top 10 posts for 2011

During the last days of December, we’ve been tweeting down Storyboard’s top 10 posts for the year. In case you haven’t been following along, here they are, all in one place (in reverse order): 10. Internet phenom Maud Newton’s “Why’s this so good?”: “Raymond Chandler sticks it to Hollywood.” 9. Chris Jones, Esquire writer at large, [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 1: Truman Capote keeps time with Marlon Brando

Truman Capote’s profile of the depressive, incoherent, brilliant Marlon Brando is one of the greatest of all time. Published in 1957 in The New Yorker, it nominally takes place one evening in the Miyako Hotel in Kyoto. One could point out many things about craft in the piece. The descriptions of characters are finely observed [...]

“Why’s this so good?” – a collaboration on the magic of long-form stories

We’re excited to announce a new feature that we’ll be rolling out next week on Nieman Storyboard. “Why’s This So Good?” will explore what makes classic narrative nonfiction stories worth reading. Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic, recently popped out with a suggestion on Twitter that the awesome catalogue of narrative that is [...]