Books

rick bragg somebody told me

I'm currently reading "Somebody Told Me" by Rick Bragg. In the past he has been a writer for the New York Times and many other newspapers. "Somebody Told Me" is a collection of newspaper articles he has written.

Most of the stories are depressing, though most of the great ones are. Stories about the Oklahoma City bombing, a church and many of its parishioners crushed by a tornado and Navajo Indians betrayed by their government.

Bragg starts the Oklahoma City bombing article with one of the best leads (or ledes) I've ever seen, "After the explosion, people learned to write left-handed, to tie just one shoe. They learned to endure the pieces of metal and glass embedded in their flesh, to smile with faces that made them want to cry, to cray with glass eyes. They learned, in homes where children had played, to stand the quiet. They learned to sleep with pills, to sleep alone."

Bragg has a way of putting the reader into the story by using simplistic language and candid quotes, I can't help but envy his writing abilities. Then again, if you read why he "resigned" from the NY Times you might think his writing abilities were too good.