The Stories We Tell: Classic True Tales by America's Greatest Women Journalists, edited by Patsy Sims, celebrates the work of twenty women who have made major contributions to the canon of American magazine writing.
While each has her own style, the women in these pages share the attributes of all good writers: meticulous research and reporting, attention to detail, a talent for choosing the perfect word. Above all, they are astute observers and sticklers for accuracy. Over the years, they have been both prolific and versatile, writing about a wide range of topics, including Joan Didion's landmark story about a suburban California woman convicted of burning her husband to death in their family Volkswagen, Susan Orlean's profile of a female bullfighter, Lillian Ross's stylish Talk of the Town pieces, Janet Malcolm's profile of the brilliant young pianist Yuja Wang, Gloria Steinem's memorable piece about Jackie Kennedy after the death of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, and Robin Marantz Henig's poignant account of the determination of one Alzheimer's victim to end her life on her own terms.
Stories by: Madeleine Blais, E. Jean Carroll, Joan Didion, Melissa Fay Greene, Lis Harris, Robin Marantz Henig, Gerri Hirshey, Elizabeth Kaye, Jeanne Marie Laskas, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Jill Lepore, Suzannah Lessard, Janet Malcolm, Susan Orlean, Lillian Ross, Susan Sheehan, Gloria Steinem, Mimi Swartz, Joyce Wadler, Isabel Wilkerson.
The Stories We Tell is part of The Sager Group's Women in Journalism series, which honors the contributions women have made (and continue to make) to the evolution of graceful literary reportage in America and around the world.
"What a treasure trove The fact that these stories are all written by women makes this book even more intriguing. How wonderful to be part of this vibrant and beautiful anthology."
-Susan Orlean, author of eight books, including The Orchid Thief.
"This is the collection I wish I'd had when I was starting out as a writer. Back then, non-fiction was the purview of men; here's an unequivocal affirmation that it no longer is."
-Elizabeth Kaye, author of six books, including Lifeboat No. 8.
The collection was featured on Nieman Storyboard.
A long-time Capitol Hill resident, Patsy Sims is author of three nonfiction books, including The Klan and Can Somebody Shout Amen! Inside the Tents and Tabernacles of American Revivalists, named a noteworthy book of 1988 by the New York Times Book Review. Sims also edited the annotated anthology Literary Nonfiction: Learning by Example and co-authored the narration for Academy Award-nominated documentary “The Klan: A Legacy of Hate.” Prior to writing books, she worked as a staff writer and editor for the New Orleans States-Item, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Oxford American, Texas Observer, and most American newspapers. “No Twang of Conscience Whatever,” about the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi, was named a Notable Essay of 2014 by Best American Essays. Sims directed Goucher College’s MFA program in creative nonfiction from 2001-2014.
Suzannah Lessard is the author of “The Architect of Desire: Beauty and Danger in the Stanford White Family” a memoir, and “The Absent Hand: A Meditation on our Landscape Now,” a reportorial essay, just completed. She was on the founding writing staff of The Washington Monthly, from 1969 to 1975, followed by twenty years on the writing staff of The New Yorker, followed by twenty years as an independent writer. She has also written for The New York Times Magazine, Harvard Design, Architectural Record, and The Smithsonian. She has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2001) was Jenny Moore Fellow at George Washington University, (2002) and is a recipient of the Whiting and Lukas Awards. She is a founding member of Consensus, an enterprise dedicated to creating a critical tradition for nonfiction as well as raising philanthropic support for risk taking literary non-fiction in a time when market conditions discourage it and political conditions require it.