CRAFT AND CRITICISM Gay Talese The following is an edited transcript of comments made by Gay Talese at the Nieman Narrative Journalism Conference at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on December 1, 2001. I am a man who has never had a happier time in my life than when I was a reporter in the New York Times news room. I left the New York Times with a tear in my eye--more than a tear. I was thirty-two years old. I had been at the Times since I started at twenty-two, and I left not because of any disenchantment with the paper but rather because the limitations of daily journalism--space particularly and the time that one could devote to the indulgence of one's curiosity--made it somewhat frustrating to stay on a daily newspaper. I wanted to spend more time with people who were not necessarily newsworthy. I believed then--and I believe now even more than then--that the role of the nonfiction writer should be more with private people, insignificant people perhaps, but people whose lives represent a larger significance than their own lives. The fiction writer, playwright, and novelist deal with private life. They deal with ordinary people
River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative – Ashland University
Published: Feb 1, 2008
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