"The Girl in the Window" and Other True Tales: An Anthology with Tips for Finding, Reporting, and Writing Nonfiction Narratives
Part anthology and part craft guide, this collection of pieces from the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist offers something for readers and writers alike. Lane DeGregory loves true stories, intimate details, and big ideas. In her three-decade career as a journalist, she has published more than 3,000 stories and won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Her acclaimed work in the Tampa Bay Times often takes her to the edges of society, where she paints empathetic portraits of real-life characters like a 99-year-old man who still works cleaning a seafood warehouse, a young couple on a bus escaping winter, and a child in the midst of adoption. In “The Girl in the Window” and Other True Tales, DeGregory not only offers up the first collection of her most unforgettable newspaper features—she pulls back the curtain on how to write narrative nonfiction.
This book—part anthology, part craft guide—provides a forensic reading of twenty-four of DeGregory’s singular stories, illustrating her tips for writers alongside pieces that put those elements under the microscope. Each of the pieces gathered here—including the Pulitzer Prize–winning title story—is accompanied by notes on how she built the story, plus tips on how nonfiction writers at all levels can do the same. Featuring a foreword by Beth Macy, author of the acclaimed Dopesick, this book is sure to delight fans of DeGregory’s writing, as well as introduce her to readers and writers who have not yet discovered her inspiring body of work.
Praise for "The Girl in the Window" and Other True Tales: An Anthology with Tips for Finding, Reporting, and Writing Nonfiction Narratives
“For journalism students and other aspiring writers of nonfiction, it’s a treasure trove of inside advice, woven around 24 articles written during the 23 years she has been on the staff of the Tampa Bay Times. For anyone who loves the craft of writing and the magic of story, the anthology is a feast.”
— Tampa Bay Times
"Tampa Bay Times reporter DeGregory debuts with a perceptive collection of 24 of her most popular pieces for the Times, each enhanced with commentary and annotations explaining how she reported them. . . . The entries testify to the rich panorama of human experience and the writing guidance is a boon. Aspiring journalists will want to check this out. "
— Publishers Weekly
“I have been studying (and teaching) DeGregory’s stories for years. There is no one like her. In addition to being a showcase of her best work, this book is full of practical advice about how she’s able to pull off what seems impossible, over and over.”
— Christopher Goffard, Pulitzer Prize-winning staff writer for the Los Angeles Times
“DeGregory performs magic in this beautiful, heartfelt book of stories—and then teaches you how she did it. This is a book for anyone who loves reading, writing, or both.”
— Mike Wilson, deputy sports editor for the New York Times
“I was barely a third of the way through ‘The Girl in the Window’ and Other True Tales and ready to swear on my stack of AP Stylebooks that I had never read a better collection of great journalism. And that’s only half of what this anthology by Tampa Bay Times writer Lane DeGregory is. The other half comprises annotations alongside each story by the Pulitzer winner (for the title story) about the insights, decisions, roadblocks, asides, and changes in direction that occurred to her along the way. . . . While it’s great reading for reporters and writers . . . it would be interesting to anyone who wants a view of what ‘the media’—when it means ‘journalism’—is doing.”
— Press Club of Southwest Florida