Nieman Storyboard’s “Why’s This So Good” explores what makes classic narrative nonfiction stories worth reading.

This week, Bruce Gillespie takes a look at Andrea Curtis’s “Small Mercies,” which was originally published in Toronto Life:

A compelling narrative and a richly detailed behind-the-scenes look at a NICU would, on its own, be enough to hook any reader. But Curtis doesn’t stop there. She ups the ante by introducing another element to the piece: the question of how much money and effort should be spent on high-risk preemies at a time when fertility treatments and other medical advances have made them increasingly common in North America.

“Why’s this so good?” No. 29: Andrea Curtis and the rhythm of mercy