Feature Writing

Honors original, stylish storytelling

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David Remnick, Editor
“A Theory of Relativity,” by Elif Batuman
April 30 In “A Theory of Relativity,” The New Yorker explored a unique Japanese industry that enables people to rent a friend, a parent, even a groom. The result—funny, sad, sincere and affecting—illuminated the entire human condition. Elif Batuman took something that at first sounded ridiculous and discovered in it profound truths about the way we live now. Her work earns The New Yorker its fifth National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. Douglas McGray, Editor in Chief
“A Kingdom From Dust,” by Mark Arax
February 4 The California Sunday Magazine tackled the complicated realities of modern-day farming, weaving together social history with profiles of billionaire land owners and in-the-fields investigations. Jay Fielden, Editor in Chief
“This Place Is Crazy,” by John J. Lennon
Summer Written in muscular and empathetic prose by an inmate at Attica Correctional Facility, in upstate New York, “This Place Is Crazy” illuminated the plight of mentally ill prisoners, trapped in institutions designed to penalize rather than treat. Adam Moss, Editor in Chief
“Everyone Believed Larry Nassar,” by Kerry Howley
November 12–25 With unflinching, compassionate portraits of former gymnasts and their families, supported by the recollections of doctors and coaches, “Everyone Believed Larry Nassar” definitively explained how Nassar got away with abuse for decades. Michael Caruso, Editor in Chief
“Taming the Lionfish,” by Jeff MacGregor
June Using sun-drenched, nausea-inducing lion-fish hunting as a narrative anchor, Smithsonian expertly connected competitive spear fishers, progressive chefs, marine biologists and mermaids while pondering ecological and environmental conflicts. Fred Hiatt, Editorial Page Editor
“What Do We Owe Her Now?,” by Elizabeth Bruenig
September 19 at washingtonpost.com With deep reporting and deft prose, Elizabeth Bruenig tells the quietly searing story of Amber Wyatt, a fellow high-school student in Texas who was raped during a party in 2006, then shamed and isolated by her entire community.