When the Writer Becomes the Written About

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When I write a story about someone else, I keep me, myself and I, out of it….But a few years back, I wrote about someone else and did belong in the story; I was an undeniable part of it.

While writing his latest book, Joshua Prager found himself in one of those strange instances when journalists have to row out from the shore of objectivity and include themselves in the story they’re writing. A classic longform article helped him figure out how—and more importantly, why—to report on himself along with his subjects.

(For a completely different but no less glorious example of this principle, see Edith Zimmerman’s GQ profile of Chris Evans.)


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →