The whole time I was reading this book I was in awe of how much reporting Gail Griffin did in order to complete this book. There was never a time when I felt there was a lack of anecdote or quotes, there were always many different sides of the story being told. In a way, this piece was similar to the profile done on Frank Sinatra by Gay Talese, in that the main characters of the story aren't interviewed at all, yet we get a good picture of their relationship. I'd like to one day try a profile where I don't interview the person it is about at all and just talk to people in Kalamazoo who know them, I think that could be a really interesting experiment.
I found so many aspects of this book worth talking about, but I wanted to focus in on Gail's choice to include herself in the story. I felt that this was definitely one of those times where using the "I" character worked to the book's advantage and I felt that she really committed to going that route. In a story like this that's so emotional and has the potential for bias, it was definitely good for her to be up front. I think that if she had been some outsider the book would have read much differently and she may not have gotten her subjects to say as much about their experiences. I did have one thought as I was reading the book though and I was wondering if any of you were thinking the same: If we are to consider this as a narrative journalism piece, did Gail have uncontaminated access to the story? I'm sure that Kalamazoo College wouldn't have fired her over the book, but she definitely had quite a few of the connections to subjects and to the story that we were warned against. Just wanted to hear your thoughts!