Feb. 19, 2013 by Wesleyan Alumni Community
Mary Roach ’81 comments on her thoughts and writing process in this piece for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism’s Annotation Tuesday. In a conversation with journalist Paige Williams, Roach annotates her “Almost Human” article that was published in National Geographic in April 2008.
‘Daybreak is sudden and swift, as though an unseen hand had simply reached out and raised a dimmer switch. Cued by the dawn, thirty-four chimpanzees awaken. They are still in the nests they built the previous night, in trees at the edge of an open plateau.’
PW: Lovely; whom or what do you read as you prepare to write? Who are your top influences?
MR: I think that at the time I wrote this piece, I’d been reading The Fruit Hunters, by Adam Gollner, and Rag and Bone, by Peter Manseau, a book about religious relics. Both authors are masters of the science/travel/nature prose hybrid. Tireless, enthused reporting presented in careful, lyrical writing. Also in that vein: Burkhard Bilgerand Ian Frazier.
Image: David Paul Morris.
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