The Beholder's Eye: A Collection of America's Finest Personal Journalism

The Beholder's Eye: A Collection of America's Finest Personal Journalism

by Walt Harrington
     
 

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Great journalists, at one time or another, have all been characters in their own stories: people with personalities that shaped what they saw and reported, and were touched and changed by the experiences about which they wrote; and innovators who borrowed the storytelling techniques of fiction. The Beholder’s Eye showcases the very best of anSee more details below

Overview


Great journalists, at one time or another, have all been characters in their own stories: people with personalities that shaped what they saw and reported, and were touched and changed by the experiences about which they wrote; and innovators who borrowed the storytelling techniques of fiction. The Beholder’s Eye showcases the very best of an increasing trend toward personal narrative: Mike Sager stalking Marlon Brando in the Tahitian jungle; J. R. Moehringer’s quest to discover the true identity of an old boxer; Bill Plaschke’s story about a woman with cerebral palsy who runs an obscure Los Angeles Dodgers Web site; Scott Anderson’s story of his lifetime of covering war after war; Harrington’s own tale of his interracial family’s struggle to persevere; and many others. Written by reporters who were willing to reveal themselves in order to bring readers insights that were deeper than supposedly objective third-person stories, their articles are an invaluable resource for aspiring journalists, students, and teachers of the craft of writing, and any reader with an appreciation for masterful storytelling.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A collection of first-person journalism edited by former Washington Post reporter Harrington (The Everlasting Stream, 2002, etc.). Harrington (Literary Journalism/Univ. of Illinois, Urban-Champaign) here aims to dispel the old journalistic cliche: that a journalist writing about him/herself is always "self-indulgent and, quite likely, narcissistic." He couldn't have put together a better lineup of writers to make the point that it doesn't have to be. Scott Anderson's "Prisoners of War," a 40-page mini-opus about the thrill and horror of being a war reporter, depicts with astonishing honesty the almost limitless selfishness that moves danger-seekers. The author flickers back and forth between his quixotic, quite possibly insane search for a missing man in one of the most dangerous parts of Chechnya and his near-execution, along with brother Jon Lee Anderson (known for his reports from Baghdad), at the hands of Tamil Tigers. Anderson's piece is almost matched by Davis Miller's "My Dinner with Ali," in which the writer goes looking for the aged boxer and ends up practically getting adopted by the champ's family, who are quite used to Ali bringing home strays. Even lesser pieces are well executed: "A Day at the Dogfights" may be laden with tired hardboiled cliches, but Harry Crews crams it fit to burst with vivid imagery; and Mike Sager's "Last Tango in Tahiti," the Apocalypse Now-esque story of hunting down Marlon Brando for an interview, is as funny as it is self-aggrandizing. "Her Blue Haven" is a Sunday-magazine-style recollection by L.A. sportswriter Bill Plaschke of his meeting with a rabid Dodgers fan afflicted with cerebral palsy. It could have been the most sentimental piece of thebunch; instead, it is a crushingly painful story rendered with true beauty. Not just some of the country's finest personal journalism, but some of its finest journalism, period.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802199621
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
12/01/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
File size:
0 MB

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