I want to read stories or articles like those on 'This American Life'
February 27, 2008 8:48 AM   Subscribe

I've been reading 'New Kings of Nonfiction' by Ira Glass and love it. I want to read more articles and books in this vein.

Ira Glass put together a collection of nonfiction articles that are very TAL-like in their tone and storytelling.

I've tried to find more by the authors in the book, especially Jack Hitt.

Can any of you point me towards books and articles or authors whose work has that distinctive feel that is found on stories featured by 'This American Life'?
posted by reenum to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Anything by David Sedaris -- his work has been featured often on TAL.
posted by junkbox at 9:09 AM on February 27, 2008

Best answer: Not exactly a match but I liked Laurence Weschler's book Vermeer in Bosnia. Solid non-fiction writing, with a totally personal touch. It's uneven but his article on David Hockney is really amazing.

For more journalistic kind of stuff, you might try what's known as "the new new journalism". There's a book by that name, it's interviews with writers.
posted by sully75 at 9:21 AM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Earlier this week (or last) there was a front page (mefi) link to the best essays in the New Yorker
posted by ijoyner at 9:22 AM on February 27, 2008

Sarah Vowell is a frequent TAL contributor and some of her essays from Partly Cloudy Patriot have been featured on the program. The Best American Essays (part of the burgeoning "Best Amercian X" series) is always worth checking out, though it is more varied in its tone and content). Perhpas the Best American Non-Required Reading may have more of what you are looking for.

On preview, Lawrence Wechsler's Book on Convergences is also excellent (though uneven). Perhaps I would start with Mr. Wilson's Cabinent of Wonder.
posted by Verdant at 9:24 AM on February 27, 2008

Best answer: Jack Hitt has written a lot for Harper's (I'd highly recommend 'A Gospel According to the Earth,') but they're mostly behind a subscription wall. But here's an article he wrote for the NYT about abortion in El Salvador.
posted by box at 11:00 AM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

The writing in "New Kings of Nonfiction" is more journalism than essay, so I wouldn't really recommend Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris in that vein. More similar, to me, would be We Wish to Inform you That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families, Random Family and The Devil in the White City.

They're all very different from each other.
posted by Airhen at 4:10 PM on February 27, 2008

Sarah Vowell, David and Amy Sedaris and David Rakoff have all contributed work to TAL. There is a list of contributors at the bottom of the TAL wikipedia page that might point you in the right direction. Also try Dave Eggers. If you want something more like a magazine and less like a book, try Salon.com or McSweeney's. I highly recommend The Best American Non-Required Reading.
posted by emmykm at 5:35 PM on February 27, 2008

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