Feature Story Mini-Review: ‘What a Fraternity Hazing Death Revealed About the Painful Search for an Asian-American Identity’ by Jay Caspian Kang

I’ve decided to post short reviews of feature stories I’ve read for my Feature Writing Class. Some of these I wrote for that class but in the future, I plan on uploading reviews of my own accord.

A fascinating story that had me hooked from the attention-grabbing title to the sobering and poetic ending. I kept on reading because the hook succeeded in making me want to find out more. The structure was so satisfying that it made me continue reading even after my biggest question (How did the death happen?) was answered. The story uses relevant sources such as the people responsible for the death at a fraternity hazing as well as the mother of the deceased man. Most of the interviewee quotes revealed interesting information and even the silence of the people who refused to be interviewed spoke volumes about the intersections between race and attitudes towards crime. This is further highlighted by the brief insights into the journalist’s own life, such as when he mentions how he told someone that “if [he] had been charged with murder, [he] would have faked [his] death so [his] parents wouldn’t know.” However, these insights illuminate the story rather than distract from it. The story has a good mixture of facts and human-interest components.

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