115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

AP Style

Dan Keane, New York University Shanghai

Dan Keane is writer and lecturer at NYU Shanghai. Formerly the Bolivia correspondent for The Associated Press, he holds an MFA from the University of Michigan. His fiction and journalism have appeared in Harper’s, McSweeney’sZoetrope, The Austin Chronicle, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014.

 

Proposal: 

 

Dan Keane grew up near a freeway in Phoenix, learned to be a reporter on the Texas-Mexico border, and later served as the AP’s last gringo correspondent in Bolivia. He earned an MFA from the University of Michigan, and his writing has appeared in Harper’sMcSweeney’sZoetropeThe Austin Chronicle, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014, among others. He now teaches writing at NYU Shanghai, and is at work on a novel. 

The following is the opening of "AP Style," a short story featured in Zoetrope and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014.

AP STYLE

LA PAZ, Bolivia — Police say 24 people were killed in a tragic accident Monday when a bus plunged from a narrow mountain road.

MEMO FROM MEX. CITY:
Not everything sad is tragic. Evaluate on case-by-case basis.
More Bolivia context please.

 
LA PAZ, Bolivia — Police say 47 people were killed Tuesday when a bus plunged from a narrow mountain road.
Bolivia is the poorest country in South America.

MEMO FROM MEX. CITY:
Tragic fine for 47 dead. Just fyi.

 
LA PAZ, Bolivia — Government officials say a new highway completed Wednesday outside the Bolivian capital will save lives.
The paved route through the mountains replaces a narrow dirt track known as the Death Road, blamed for decades of fatal accidents.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony local dignitaries smashed clay pots of chicha, or corn beer, on the highway’s spotless new concrete.
The traditional Bolivian tribute sought favor from the Pachamama, the Earth goddess revered by much of Bolivia’s indigenous population.

MEMO FROM MEX. CITY:
Please use Indian over indigenous.
Indigenous is an endangered tree frog.
Readers know what an Indian is.

 
LA PAZ, Bolivia — A roundtable of foreign correspondents covering this Andean nation declared Thursday that “the most totally Bolivian thing” would be to fuck an Indian.
The table raised their glasses to cholitas, local slang for the Indian women who wear the traditional dress of petticoats, shawl, bowler hat, and long black braids.
“To petticoats!” a reporter said.
“To what’s underneath!” said a guy who sometimes wrote for Time.
Reaction was swift from the lone female at the table.
“Jesus,” said the freelance radio correspondent. “You colonialist assholes.” [...]