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Observations From 20 Years of Iowa Life

“Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die, those too timid (or lacking in educated) to peer around the bend for better opportunities, an assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth, or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that ‘The sun’ll come out tomorrow.’”

Just ahead of the Iowa Caucus, New Jersey native turned University of Iowa Professor Stephen Bloom has published a piece in The Atlantic that has caused quite a stir in the heartland. The piece, which is very critical of the Hawkeye State and her inhabitants, has a lot of Iowans on the defensive, with one article calling Bloom the "Michelangelo of hick-punching." Stephens has said the "feedback has been frightening," but he stands by his story. Perhaps a 1971 Harper's piece on Iowa captures the state with a bit more nuance.
posted by Lutoslawski on Dec 13, 2011 - 134 comments

 

What if I haven’t earned my wings?

With 12-year old Maggie Wiederholt's permission, Quad City Times reporter Kay Luna and photographer John Schultz followed her and her family for several weeks as the terminally ill Walcott, Iowa girl faced death - and made choices about how to live.

Maggie's Choice is a heart-wrenching project that captures the last days of a young girl with with a rare form of Behcet's disease. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Apr 6, 2010 - 33 comments

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