Search Results for: This Land Press

Reading List: Longreads and This Land Press at Housing Works

Coming this Wednesday, Oct. 29, in New York, Longreads and WordPress.com present a special night of storytelling at Housing Works with Oklahoma’s This Land Press. The event will be hosted by This Land editor Michael Mason, with Longreads founder Mark Armstrong. (You can also RSVP on Facebook.)

To get you ready for the big night, we’re thrilled to share a reading list of stories and books from the event’s featured storytellers.

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Rilla Askew

Askew is an Oklahoma-born writer and author of the novel Fire in Beulah, set against the backdrop of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.

“Near McAlester” (This Land Press, August 2014)

On the complicated history of the place closest to her heart.

Read more…

Coming Oct. 29, NYC: A Night of Storytelling with This Land Press

Present

A special night of storytelling with
This Land

Featuring:

Mark Singer (The New Yorker)

Rilla Askew (author, “Fire in Beulah”)

Ginger Strand (author, “Inventing Niagara”)

Kiera Feldman (writer, “Grace in Broken Arrow,” “This Is My Beloved Son”)

Marcos Barbery (journalist and documentarian, writer, “From One Fire”)

Wednesday, Oct. 29th, 7:00 p.m.
Free Admission


Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10012

RSVP on our Facebook page

Bios

Mark Singer has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1974. Singer’s account of the collapse of the Penn Square Bank of Oklahoma City appeared in The New Yorker in 1985 and was published as a book, Funny Money.

Rilla Askew is an Oklahoma-born writer and author of the novel Fire in Beulah, set against the backdrop of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.

Ginger Strand is the author of Inventing Niagara, the untold story of America’s waterfall. Her essays and fiction have appeared in Harper’s, The Believer, The Iowa Review, and the New York Times. Her articles for This Land magazine span fracking, Oklahoma’s water wars, and homicidal truck drivers.

Kiera Feldman is a Brooklyn-based reporter whose story “Grace in Broken Arrow” earned Longreads’ Best Non-Fiction article of the year in 2012. She’s written for n+1, The New York Times, Mother Jones, and a number of other publications.

Marcos Barbery is a journalist and documentarian. His This Land article “From One Fire” tells the story of an unlikely civil rights leader in the Cherokee Nation.

Photo by Jesse Chan-Norris (Flickr)

Coming Oct. 29, NYC: A Night of Storytelling with This Land Press

Longreads Pick

Join us in New York on Oct. 29 for a night with Rilla Askew, Kiera Feldman, Mark Singer, Ginger Strand, Marcos Barbery and Michael Mason.

Author: Editors
Source: Longreads
Published: Oct 9, 2014

Longreads Member Pick: A Stiller Ground, by Gordon Grice and This Land Press

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Thanks to Longreads Members’ support (join us here), we’re able to bring you outstanding stories from publishers and writers around the world—including today’s Member Pick from This Land Press, which is doing some incredible work out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and whose story by Kiera Feldman, “Grace in Broken Arrow,” topped our Best of 2012 list

Today’s story is “A Stiller Ground,” a devastating piece from Gordon Grice about the loss of a child. The story will be featured in an upcoming issue of This Land, and we’d like to thank them for sharing it early with Longreads Members. A brief excerpt is below.

***

I walked in graveyards, gathering trash and fallen branches. I pulled weeds that obscured the names on old headstones, and when I was through, most of the names I’d revealed meant nothing to me. I took special care with the graves of children. I put the ceramic animal caricatures back on the stones they’d fallen off of. After a rain, I thumbed mud from the Lucite-covered photographs set in stones. I took the time to read a turn of the century marker made of crudely hand-lettered cement. On it was an asymmetric heart pieced from small stones. I subtracted compulsively: death year minus birth year equals age, give or take one.

I started, almost always, with the graves of my own ancestors and cousins. My mother’s mother, dead before I was born. Carved next to her name was my grandfather’s. He was still alive, though his name had been written in the city of the dead for thirty-four years. My cousin, a suicide at twenty-one. His epitaph declared his heart too big to last in this world. I read his stone with double vision: the disdain I’d always had for such sentiments; the tolerance I had now for anything, anything at all, to ease the pain. I walked along the rows, taking care of people past caring.

That was my daily routine. Sometimes the woman I loved would come with me. I envied her. She seemed to know how to grieve. To let herself feel things; to take time. She wrote letters to our stillborn daughter. She ordered photographs from the hospital and put them in a scrapbook. She talked. Most of these activities were strange to me, though I clumsily tried to emulate her for the sake of my mental health. I wanted to have my private scene at the cemetery, unwitnessed, and be cured for good, or at least for a little while.

*** 

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Longreads Member Pick: A Stiller Ground, by Gordon Grice and This Land Press

Longreads Pick

Thanks to Longreads Members’ support (join us here), we’re able to bring you outstanding stories from publishers and writers around the world—including today’s Member Pick from This Land Press, which is doing some incredible work out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and whose story by Kiera Feldman, “Grace in Broken Arrow,” topped our Best of 2012 list

Today’s story is “A Stiller Ground,” a devastating piece from Gordon Grice about the loss of a child. The story will be featured in an upcoming issue of This Land, and we’d like to thank them for sharing it early with Longreads Members.

Source: This Land Press
Published: Nov 7, 2013
Length: 21 minutes (5,398 words)

The Promised Land

Trans activist Karla Avelar poses for a portrait in San Salvador, El Salvador in 2018. (Danielle Villasana)

Alice Driver | Longreads | July 2020 | 16 minutes (3,906 words)

“Me with two suitcases, without knowing anything, so far away, not speaking the language, oh no, it was a total odyssey.” — Karla Avelar

* * *

Home was 16 by 26 feet. When Karla, 41, lay on her single bed at night, she could stretch out her left arm and grab her mother Flor’s* hand. She and her mother, who was 64, hadn’t lived together for 32 years: Now they practiced French together and her mother, who never learned to write, carefully traced the letters of the French alphabet in cursive well into the night. Neither of them had finished elementary school; Flor, born in rural El Salvador, was forced to leave school after first grade to work and help support her family and Karla was forced out of school in eighth grade due to bullying from teachers and students who told her she had to dress like a man in order to attend class, who once tried to hold her down and cut her hair and who frequently beat her up. Home was the name she had chosen for herself — Karla Avelar — one that was first legally recognized when she was 41 and requesting asylum in Switzerland. When the weight of memories of her previous life haunted Karla, she went outside to search for a place to cry alone.

When I first met Karla in San Salvador, El Salvador in July 2017, her home was a place I couldn’t safely visit. Karla, a renowned LGBTQ activist, had been nominated for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights, which would come with a large cash prize if she won. Members of the Mara Salvatrucha in Karla’s neighborhood, part of an international gang known as the MS-13, had become aware of the news and had threatened to kill her if she won and didn’t hand the money over to them. She had even been forced to change houses due to the threats, but she still felt her neighborhood wasn’t safe for me to visit, so we met at the offices of COMCAVIS TRANS, an NGO that was the culmination of her life’s work as an activist. Like so many trans women in El Salvador, she had survived more violence than most of us could imagine — rapes, assassination attempts, being unjustly imprisoned — and after being released from prison, she founded COMCAVIS TRANS as the first openly HIV positive trans woman in the country. I interviewed Karla for a story about the reasons why trans woman flee El Salvador, neither of us knowing that Karla would eventually become the story.

On October 6, 2017, roughly a month-and-a-half after we bid each other farewell in San Salvador, Karla and her mother flew to Switzerland to attend the awards ceremony for Martin Ennals Award nominees. When they arrived in Switzerland, Flor broke down and told Karla that members of the MS-13 gang had come to her house, beat her up and forced her to watch a video in which they were torturing a man, telling her that they would do the same thing to Karla. Before leaving, they told Flor that they would rape her in front of Karla and then kill her if Karla didn’t hand over the prize money. And then they asked her to confirm the date that Karla would return to El Salvador after her trip to Switzerland.

Karla relayed the threats to the members of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights who were worried that she would be assassinated if she returned to El Salvador. They encouraged her and her mother to apply for asylum in Switzerland. At the awards ceremony, Karla was recognized for her activism and awarded a monetary prize plus an additional amount to donate to the NGO of her choice. Karla and Flor didn’t have time to celebrate — they needed a few days alone to consider what it would mean to never return to the land of their birth. Karla was proud that she had lived honestly in El Salvador, not hiding her past as a sex worker, as someone who had spent time in jail and was HIV+, even when it put her at risk, but she also knew many trans women who had been murdered for their activism. Read more…

The Grieving Landscape

RJ Sangosti / Getty / Fulcrum Publishing

Heidi Hutner | Fulcrum Publishing | June 2020 | 16 minutes (4,305 words)

We’re delighted to bring you an excerpt by Heidi Hutner from the anthology Doom With A View: Historical and Cultural Contexts of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. Edited by Kristen Iverson, with E. Warren Perry and Shannon Perry, the anthology arrives from Fulcrum Publishing in August, 2020.

* * *

At thirty-five, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. One year before my diagnosis, my mother died from complications after heart surgery. At the time of her death, my mother had cancer — lymphoma. Five years prior to Mom’s death, my father passed away from a brain tumor, a metastasis from the cancer melanoma.

Two years after I had completed my chemotherapy treatment for cancer, I gave birth to Olivia. My miracle baby.

Read more…

How Four Americans Robbed the Bank of England

The Great City Forgeries: Trial Of The Accused At The Central Criminal Court. Austin Biron Bidwell; George Macdonnell; George Bidwell; Edwin Noyes; Henry Avory, Esq., Clerk Of The Court; Mr. Justice Archibald Alderman; Sir W.r. Carden, 1873 Engraving. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Paul Brown | Longreads | June 2020 | 22 minutes (5,961 words)

On April 18, 1872, Austin Bidwell walked into Green & Son tailors on London’s renowned Savile Row and ordered eight bespoke suits, two topcoats, and a luxurious dressing gown. Bidwell was 26 years old, 6ft tall, and handsomely groomed with a waxed mustache and bushy side-whiskers. If the accent didn’t give it away, his eye-catching western hat marked him out as an American — a rich American. London tradesmen called Americans with bulges of money in their pockets “Silver Kings,” and they were most welcome in upmarket establishments like Green & Son, which charged as much for the strength of their reputations as for the quality of their goods.

Read more…

How China Censored Citizens and the Press on COVID-19

Getty Images

As Shawn Yuan reports at Wired, the Chinese government knew that a new SARS-like pneumonia had appeared in late 2019, yet they worked hard to keep this deadly virus a secret from their population and the world. As citizens shared accounts of the devastation with one another on social media, as reporters wrote and published stories about the outbreak, the Chinese government’s censors vigilantly deleted their posts and their accounts. Why? To conceal the extent of the outbreak and the inadequacy of its response, so that China could portray itself as a benevolent savior to its people and a generous friend supplying medical equipment to the world.

That night, just when Yue was about to log off and try to sleep, she saw the following sentence pop up on her WeChat Moments feed, the rough equivalent of Facebook’s News Feed: “I never thought in my lifetime I’d see dead bodies lying around without being collected and patients seeking medical help but having no place to get treatment.”

Yue thought that she had become desensitized, but this post made her fists clench: It was written by Xiao Hui, a journalist friend of hers who was reporting on the ground for Caixin, a prominent Chinese news outlet. Yue trusted her.

She read on. “On January 22, on my second day reporting in Wuhan, I knew this was China’s Chernobyl,” Xiao Hui wrote. “These days I rarely pick up phone calls from outside of Wuhan or chat with friends and family, because nothing can express what I have seen here.”

Unable to contain her anger, Yue took a screenshot of Xiao’s post and immediately posted it on her WeChat Moments. “Look what is happening in Wuhan!” she wrote. Then she finally drifted off.

The next morning, when she opened WeChat, a single message appeared: Her account had been suspended for having “spread malicious rumors” and she would not be able to unblock it. She knew at once that her late-night post had stepped on a censorship landmine.

It’s not hard to see how these censored posts contradicted the state’s preferred narrative. Judging from these vanished accounts, the regime’s coverup of the initial outbreak certainly did not help buy the world time, but instead apparently incubated what some have described as a humanitarian disaster in Wuhan and Hubei Province, which in turn may have set the stage for the global spread of the virus. And the state’s apparent reluctance to show scenes of mass suffering and disorder cruelly starved Chinese citizens of vital information when it mattered most.

While articles and posts that displease Chinese censors continue to be expunged across the Chinese internet, the messages that thrive on television and state-sanctioned sites are rosy: News anchors narrate videos of nurses saying how honored they have been to fight for their country despite all the hardships and video clips of China “generously” shipping planeloads of medical equipment to other countries hit hard by the virus are playing on a loop.

As the outbreak began to slow down in mainland China, the government remained cautious in filtering out any information that might contradict the seemingly unstoppable trend of recovery. On March 4, a Shanghai news site called The Paper reported that a Covid-19 patient who had been discharged from the hospital in late February later died in a post-discharge isolation center; another news site questioned whether hospitals were discharging patients prematurely for the sake of “clearing all cases.” Both stories vanished.

Read the story