Sun's Tucker wins award for reporting

May 02, 2007|By Nick Madigan | Nick Madigan,Sun Reporter

Abigail Tucker of The Sun has won the 2007 Mike Berger Award, given by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism for outstanding human-interest reporting.

The prize, named for the late New York Times reporter Meyer "Mike" Berger, comes with a $1,000 honorarium and will be presented to Tucker on May 15.

The judges noted that "Abigail Tucker's writing on the lives of little-known people stood out for its depth, grace, sensitivity and emotional complexity."

In a nominating letter in March, Sun editor Timothy A. Franklin wrote, "Abigail Tucker is a writer of rare originality and perception who explores the most intimate topics with insight and sensitivity, all with a fiction writer's expert grasp of storytelling technique."

Tucker's 2006 submitted articles were:

"A Daughter's Difficult Journey," June 4: About Terri McLaughlin's wrenching search for her biological mother. Their reunion was devoid of the emotional connection McLaughlin had idealized.

"Man versus Shark," June 20: Tucker's day on a sport fishing boat off Ocean City. "If a chum slick can be pretty, this one is, a silver smear like leftover moonlight on the waves."

"Linked in Life and Death," July 30: The story of William and Carlyn Gray, who, after being married 60 years, died 36 hours apart. "He could barely boil water, and she never learned to drive. She made him sour beef with dumplings. He made her laugh."

"An Uphill Hike to Self-Discovery," Nov. 12: Tucker followed 13 high-school students and four adults into the Monongahela National Forest and depicted the agony of well-meaning educators when Nature and adolescent attitude prove unconquerable.

"Two Brothers Make a Family," Dec. 31: Tucker told of Tyler Krus, who was orphaned during his senior year in high school. Krus intended to raise his younger brother himself. Tucker followed Krus during a semester at college and wrote a "poignant story about love, loss and devotion," Franklin said.

Tucker, 26, from Ridgefield, Conn., graduated from Harvard University in 2002. In January 2003 she was hired as a features writer at The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y., and joined the staff of The Sun in November 2004.

nick.madigan@baltsun.com

Read Abigail Tucker's stories at baltimoresun.com/tucker

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