April 16th, 2012
ljdigital

Feature Writing Pulitzer Goes to Seattle’s Weekly Publication, The Stranger

From the winning article, by Eli Sanders:

"For herself, for the woman she loved, and for justice, the survivor of the South Park attacks tells a courtroom what happened that night."

The story begins like this:

The prosecutor wanted to know about window coverings. He asked: Which windows in the house on South Rose Street, the house where you woke up to him standing over you with a knife that night—which windows had curtains that blocked out the rest of the world and which did not?

She answered the prosecutor’s questions, pointing to a map of the small South Park home she used to share with her partner, Teresa Butz, a downtown Seattle property manager. When the two of them lived in this house, it was red, a bit run-down, much loved, filled with their lives together, typical of the neighborhood. Now it was a two-dimensional schematic, State’s Exhibit 2, set on an easel next to the witness stand. She narrated with a red laser pointer for the prosecutor and the jury: These windows had curtains that couldn’t be seen through. These windows had just a sheer fabric.

Would your silhouettes have been visible through that sheer fabric at night?

Probably. She didn’t know for sure. When she and her partner lived in the house, she noted, “I didn’t spend a lot of time staring in my own windows.”

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A blog created by the Literary Journalism Department @ the University of California, Irvine, dedicated to discussions about non-fiction narratives in this ever-evolving era of E-books, E-readers, Blogs, Instapaper, The Atavist, Byliner, Amazon's Kindle Singles and all other new media outlets open to promoting great journalism. LJ Digital is managed by Asst. Prof. Erika Hayasaki and Cleo Tobbi, intern and UCI literary journalism student.

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