Author: edited by Kalen Ralph & Joanna Demkiewicz Category:

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NEW STORIES WE TELL: TRUE TALES BY AMERICA’S NEXT GENERATION OF GREAT WOMEN JOURNALISTS

“A well-selected anthology of potent stories by formidable women writers.”
–Kirkus Reviews

“New Stories We Tell is a collection of true stories written by American women journalists. It is a known fact that men dominate the world of nonfiction. This book is different because it brings together the excellent contributions of women journalists on varied topics. I appreciate how the editors celebrate the differences between the writing styles of authors from varied backgrounds. Every story begins with a short biographical account by the writer that helps you to understand the underlying passion and focus of her journalism. Some of the stories are still lingering in my mind after reading the entire book. 4 out of 4 stars.” –OnlineBookclub.org

Writers: Rachel Aviv, Anne Babe, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Pamela Colloff , Sara Corbett, Vanessa Grigoriadis, Brooke Jarvis, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Sheelah Kolhatkar, Jaeah Lee, Lizzie Presser, Janet Reitman, Lisa Taddeo, Jia Tolentino, Amy Wallace, Elizabeth Weil

New Stories We Tell is the third in a series of women-centric journalism text/anthologies created to celebrate the great women of American longform writing. New Stories features sixteen of the most talked-about contemporary magazine writers.

Each chapter includes a landmark article, a bio, and an interview with the writer. We learn about lives, careers, writing philosophies, tricks of the trade, and backstories. Taken together, the assembled articles—republished from both legacy and new media–paint a picture of the shifting role of the genre known variously as longform, creative or literary nonfiction, and the New Journalism.

While journalists today, as always, are pledged to intellectual honesty and a true reporting of the facts, more than ever the genre is seen as an outlet for agency and a tool of social justice. Almost all of the women featured in New Stories We Tell aim their considerable journalistic talents at pressing issues of our day.

Maybe someday soon, books like this won’t be necessary. Written by women or not, these stories are simply great work.

About the editors: Kaylen Ralph is a writer and editor; Joanna Demkiewicz is a marketing director for an independent press. Graduates of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, they were co-founders of the groundbreaking publication The Riveter, a longform magazine by women for everyone.

Reviews in full:

“Two former journalism school classmates offer a vibrant array of long-form writings by women in this collection.

“In an editor’s note, Teen Vogue columnist Ralph and Demkiewicz, the marketing director of small press Milkweed Editions, trace their book’s origins to a 2012 panel that they attended at the Missouri School of Journalism. The panel was part of two-day seminar celebrating the release of a different long-form anthology. The six panelists were male, and 16 of the 19 anthologized stories had been written by men. The student audience was mostly made up of women, and the editors note that “bitter whispers ran through the crowd.”

“This anthology—the third in a series—offers a satisfying rejoinder to that panel’s focus on men. The editors preface each piece with a bio and short introduction by the writer, in which she provides thoughts on the writing process, her career, and her story topic. These riveting introductions grant brief but intriguing glimpses of how Rachel Aviv’s editor talked her through moments of doubt, for example, or how Nikole Hannah-Jones reconciled her personal and professional views on a thorny topic. The subjects range widely and include school segregation, Jerry Lewis, the vaping industry, hate crimes, the Islamic State group, and campus sexual assault. A few stories stand out: Aviv’s terrifying piece on Nevada’s flawed system of guardians for the elderly from the New Yorker, and Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s hilarious, detailed profile of Gwyneth Paltrow and her lifestyle brand, Goop, from the New York Times Magazine. The most recent stories were published in 2018, and the oldest, Sara Corbett’s profile of skateboarder Cara-Beth Burnside, in 2000.

“A well-selected anthology of potent stories by formidable women writers.”
Kirkus Reviews

“New Stories We Tell is a collection of true stories written by American women journalists. It is edited by Kaylen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz. Many of the authors are young, and the articles have been published in magazines, especially in New York and California. They are exceptional examples of long-form journalism, and several of the writers have won awards. The salient feature of this genre is that the literary style of novels is used for writing nonfiction. Of course, not every person who reads this book will like every piece. It depends on their interests and preferences.

“Most of the articles are informative and were published during the last four years. I was previously unaware of some of the issues raised by the authors. My favorite is “The Takeover” by Rachael Aviv. First published in The New Yorker, it describes the enigma of how representatives of a government can cheat the aged under the guise of guardianship. I found it unbelievable. It has conscientized and alerted me about similar injustices happening around me.

“In another article, the cultural differences between North and South Korea, described by Ann Babe, came as a surprise. The piece about a lifestyle website seemed weird. A few critiques expose racism and segregation. Feminist issues like gender discrimination and campus rape are also highlighted. Brooke Jarvis’ write-up “Unclaimed” moved me to tears. It was about an immigrant (in a persistent vegetative state) who was looked after for more than a decade and reunited with his family. Topics such as sports, comedy, and teen vaping are included. A report on the investigation of a baby’s death is very intriguing. I did not like the story dealing with home abortions by women. Three siblings supporting the Islamic State was another tale that terrified me. It raised several questions about the religious upbringing of children and teenagers.

“It is a known fact that men dominate the world of nonfiction. As far as I’m aware, women writers tend to focus on feminist issues. This book is different because it brings together the excellent contributions of women journalists on varied topics. I appreciate how the editors celebrate the differences between the writing styles of authors from varied backgrounds. Every story begins with a short biographical account by the writer that helps you to understand the underlying passion and focus of her journalism. This is a praiseworthy aspect of the structure of New Stories We Tell. The “Editor’s Note” reveals the need to promote the work of women in this field and is thought-provoking.

“People who like to read inspiring writings on social issues will enjoy New Stories We Tell. It may also appeal to journalists, educationists, and social workers, especially women. I am happy to award this anthology a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I did not give it a lower rating because of its excellence and innovative concept in the field of journalism. Some of the stories are still lingering in my mind after reading the entire book.”

–BooklistOnLine.com