Essays and Criticism

Honors interpretative and critical journalism

Jake Silverstein, Editor in Chief
“Getting Out,” by Reginald Dwayne Betts
October 21 Recalling his own journey from teenage carjacker to aspiring lawyer, Reginald Dwayne Betts showed that every convict suffers in a system that continues to inflict punishment long after a sentence is served. Betts’ brilliance and determination—above all, the honesty and generosity of his work—earns The New York Times Magazine its second National Magazine Award in this category in the last three years. Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief
“A Warning From Europe,” by Anne Applebaum
October In this masterful essay, Anne Applebaum responded to the right-wing extremism tearing through the Western world with a thoughtful argument—for panic. David Remnick, Editor Three articles by Jill Lepore

“It’s Still Alive,” February 12 & 19, “The Shorebird,” March 26, and “Misjudged,” October 8

In this series, Jill Lepore adopted the best attributes of her subjects—Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s strategic thinking, Rachel Carson’s civic conscience and Victor Frankenstein’s ability to make something new and powerful from familiar materials. Nicholas Jackson, Editor in Chief
“Silence Breaking Woman,” by Terese Marie Mailhot
May In an essay the judges found especially affecting, Terese Marie Mailhot explored the paradoxes that permeate her life as a Native American writer navigating a white world. Paul Reyes, Editor
“The Breakup Museum,” by Leslie Jamison
Spring Formally inventive, deeply insightful, “The Breakup Museum” depicted the poignant sorrows of heartbreak while celebrating the plodding joy of commitment.