Friday, May 22, 2009

Profile of a dying man

Edwin Shneidman was born in York and went on to be a major voice in suicide prevention, and in how our culture thinks about/talks about death.

We're not sure (yet) whether he lived here for any extended period of time, but in doing some rooting around online, I came across this excellent story about Shneidman facing his own death.

It's by Thomas Curwen of the L.A. Times, who you may remember has appeared in this blog before, related to a great story about a grizzly attack. He answered questions for us about what became a Pulitzer finalist.

This time the conflict is much more subtle, and thus more challenging to capture. Look at the way he puts you in the scene for the first several grafs, and then study the language and the pace he uses in the 10th through 13th grafs to tell you what the story's about. Thoughts?