Narratively

Human stories, boldly told.

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The World War II Hero Who Proved It’s Possible to Beat the NRA

[] The old warrior stood silently before the coffin, preparing to say goodbye to a young life, like he had done so many times before. He had planned to speak before the assembled mourners, but the words would not come. Instead, he was overcome with grief. The tears poured forth. For Blair Sparks, it was tough watching the old man in such pain. His...

The Royal Spy Who Became the Feminist Answer to Shakespeare

[] In 1695, theater audiences in Britain were riveted by the debut of a tale about two star-crossed lovers. After a bloody two-year war, Prince Oroonoko went to pay his respects to Imoinda, the daughter of a general who had died during the war. He brought slaves with him as a gift for the deceased general’s daughter, “trophies of her father’s victories.”...

The Lost Prince of Yacht Rock

[] Picture yourself in 1978, behind the thin plastic steering wheel of your brand-new Chevy Nova, stuck in traffic on the 10 freeway. There’s smog obscuring the L.A. skyline and the smell of exhaust in the air. Over the crackle of the AM radio, the newsreader says something about Iran, a bright-voiced chorus promises that Coke adds life! and a DJ reassures...

How This Writer Got a Book Deal From Her Narratively Story about the Socialite who Sterilized Her Daughter

[] Last September, a whistleblower complaint revealed that immigrants at an ICE detention center in Georgia were being forcibly sterilized. While this news was shocking to many, there is in fact a long history in the U.S. of people – mainly women and people of color – being sterilized without their consent. One of these people was Ann Cooper Hewitt,...

How I Wrote Myself into a Real-life Romantic Comedy – That Turned into a Survivalist Thriller

[] He doesn’t love me. He never loved me. And he isn’t looking for me — so I damn well better survive the night on my own. No food, no tent, no map. No one to blame but myself. Too bad burning hot shame isn’t a heat source. Moonlight traces a craggy ridgeline up around me in a massive arc. The sparse lodgepole pines give way to barren rock, which means...

The Audacious Tabloid Couple Who Scammed Their Way Into New York’s High Society

[] In December 1911, a few months before the White Star Line’s Titanic would dominate headlines around the world, another of the company’s ocean liners, the Oceanic, arrived at a port in New York. As the massive ship docked, a scandalous family drama was about to unfold onshore. Their warm breath fogging in the damp December, an Italian diplomat,...

The Killer Doctor, the Swirling Fire, and the World’s Most Haunted Building

[] In 1990, visitors to Brazil’s São Pedro Cemetery began noticing something eerie. The cemetery in São Paulo was relatively new, inaugurated in 1972, right in the middle of one of this bustling city’s busiest areas, so noise and activity were par for the course. But what visitors to the graveyard heard wasn’t the hustle of daily city life or burials....

The Pet Rescuer in the Disaster Zone

[] Katie Albright wrote out the words “Missing Pet Recovery” in green on the back window of her Toyota Sequoia SUV, then headed over the mountain pass from Bend, Oregon, with her 3-year–old dachshund, Franklin, in a dog crate in the back seat. Ahead of them, the sky glowed the grayish-orange of dystopian movies. Smoke choked the air. Albright and Franklin...

The Writer Helping People Care for the Land—and for Themselves

[] Last year, in the throes of the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the fight for racial justice, Shanna B. Tiayon published an article at Narratively about Black women homesteaders. Shanna wears a lot of hats—she is a writer, a speaker, and the founder of consulting firm Wellbeing Works. She sat down with Narratively to talk about the...

The Extraordinary Trial of the Child Soldier Who Became a Brutal Rebel Commander

[On 26 January 2015, Dominic Ongwen appeared before the Single Judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova, at the seat of the ICC in The Hague (The Netherlands). Pictured here: Dominic Ongwen at his first appearance hearing on 26 January 2015 at the International Criminal Court in The Hague...

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