Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A shout out to some real writers...

Although I love blogs, bloggers, the interwebs, the blogosphere and all that jazz (I seem to have just taken a position on the Oxford comma. Don't hold me to it) my favorite writers of non fiction are, and probably forever will remain normal, old fashioned journalists.

Don't get me wrong - I think there is phenomenal writing going on on the internet. In fact, the first three blogs on my RSS feed all got book deals. But isn't there something very different about being able to write well about something you are passionate about, and being able write well about something an editor assigns you to do? That said, my two favorite journalists are journalists of the long form article kind, almost certainly don't get assignments put on their desks by editors, and work for the same hallowed publications.

Without further ado, my two favorite non fiction writers debating a topic which until now was not near to my heart, but now is both near and dear: Canada, Nation or Notion? Watch the whole things folks (and then buy a book of either of their collected essays from your local independent bookstore). How great are those guys? In case you didn't watch it, it is Adam Gopnik and Malcolm Gladwell, who write for the New Yorker. In some ways, I like these writers for opposite reasons. Adam Gopnik, especially in his amazing articles he wrote from Paris, does an amazing job of taking anecdotes from his every day experiences and making nuanced, original and true-seeming assertions about greater issues - about governments, nations, people, cultures. Malcolm Gladwell finds incredible data and examples from the widest variety of sources in history, science, and the biographies of experts, and uses them to make points which - I wont say they aren't true, but can be somewhat out there. I love them both!