The editor of BuzzFeed remembers a friend, colleague and fearless journalist. Hastings
died Tuesday in a car crash in Los Angeles, at age 33:
"Michael Hastings was really only interested in writing stories someone didn’t want him to write — often his subjects; occasionally his editor. While there is no template for a great reporter, he was one for reasons that were intrinsic to who he was: ambitious, skeptical of power and conventional wisdom, and incredibly brave. And he was warm and honest in a way that left him many unlikely friends among people you’d expect to hate him."
PUBLISHED: June 18, 2013
LENGTH: 8 minutes (2014 words)
The writer reflects on what her mom did to help others:
"As a child, I didn’t understand most of the midnight phone calls to my mom, or the times women would come over with children in tow, sometimes even in pajamas, and I would be told to go entertain them while Mama ensconced herself in her bedroom with their mother.
"Once, my mom spotted a bruised woman with three children holding a cardboard sign in the Wal-Mart parking lot. It was pouring down rain. I was seven.
"'Stay in the car,' she said, locking me in. She went to talk to the woman."
PUBLISHED: Jan. 3, 2013
LENGTH: 9 minutes (2259 words)
Novelist Robert Boswell tells the story of how he met his wife, the author Antonya Nelson, and uses the story to explore how fiction is crafted:
"Why are we drawn to stories about people falling in love? There are likely a host of reasons, but here’s a good one: marriage, when observed from a place of solitude, has the power of dream. Solitary people fall in love with couples, imagining their own lives transformed by such a union. And once the transformation finally happens, people need to talk about it, telling not only their families, friends, and strangers on the bus but also themselves—repeating it to make it real, to investigate the mystery of marital metamorphosis. And they get good at the telling. People who cannot otherwise put together an adequately coherent narrative to get you to the neighborhood grocery will nonetheless have a beautifully shaped tale of how he met she (or he met he, or she met she) and became we."
PUBLISHED: June 3, 2013
LENGTH: 29 minutes (7468 words)