Discover more from Neus News
I criticized my own previous reporting, for a good reason.
Plus, a starred review for 24 Hours in Charlottesville!
Hi everyone! The last few months have been a really exciting time of new opportunities, new work, and new writing. It turns out my six-year-old self was right, and I love being a full-time professional writer. Most days, I can’t believe that I actually get to sit at my cute little desk and write all day. (Other days, I can’t believe that I have to sit at my desk all day and write. But those days are farther and fewer between.)
We had a very successful book talk and signing (my first ever!) at the Presbyterian Church at Tenafly, in New Jersey. We even sold out of books! My favorite part was meeting young readers who were inspired by Muhammad’s story. It still feels surreal that kids are actually reading our book and relating to the story.
If you missed the event, the full video is now available online here. Check it out!
I’ve also been reporting and writing a lot of freelance journalism pieces for outlets including VICE News, Poynter, Youth Today, and Teen Vogue. I’m extremely proud of my piece for Poynter, which was the most opinionated and personal thing I’ve ever published. I essentially acted as a public editor for myself, revisiting a CNN story I reported back in 2019 to see if I approached it as ethically as I could have— and if I did more harm than good.
My original CNN story was about the movement to end cosmetic surgeries on intersex infant’s genitals, and featured a really cool intersex kid Wade, who used a different name at the time. The original story was powerful. It received 6.8 million views, and more importantly, was cited in witness testimony in California Senate hearings about a bill that would have banned these surgeries. But, as my story explains,
…by the time the story aired, Wade was already questioning whether he was actually a boy. Within a few months, he transitioned, choosing his new name from the Ryan Reynolds movie “Deadpool.” Today, Wade is a happy, well-adjusted 10-year-old in fifth grade who still loves art, especially drawing anime, and hanging out with his brother.
I’ve stayed in touch with the Lohman family over the years as Wade has grown up. When I found out Wade had transitioned, I worried that our somewhat-viral report was still out there online, using his deadname and presenting him as a girl. Did Wade regret speaking to me, on camera, for our CNN report? Had our story done more harm than good? I was scared of the answer, so until now, I didn’t ask.
You can read that full story here. I’m so grateful to Wade and his family for trusting me, yet again.
Finally, we are officially three months from the release of my second book, and the first for adults, 24 Hours in Charlottesville. I’ve explained more about what it’s about in a previous post, but today I can share that Kirkus gave 24 Hours in Charlottesville a starred review! This is a big deal within the industry. They wrote that it is “not just a visceral portrayal of political violence, but also a major addition to our understanding of right-wing terrorism.” Thank you, Kirkus!
Speaking of reviews, I’m so excited to share these amazing reviews from some folks I really, really respect.
“At last, a narrative that pulls together unheard voices and events from Charlottesville’s Summer of Hate, giving insight, warts and all.” Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer
“Nora Neus has given us a grand gift: the definitive inside story of the historic Charlottesville neo-fascist event in August 2017! We have yet to emerge from under its ominous shadows”. Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary
“A riveting minute by minute account of a day that shocked the world. Nora Neus reveals new details and insight about what really happened in those 24 hours in Charlottesville in 2017. It is well worth reading.” CNN anchor Anderson Cooper
“Astonishing new details on an event that might very well be considered a turning point in our American century. I walked away in awe over how much I learned about Charlottesville. This work by Nora Neus feels like something people will both need and want to read.” CNN anchor John Berman
“This is the account we needed of what happened in Charlottesville. The swirl of violence and political chaos left details hard to come by and reflection nearly impossible, and Nora Neus delivers on both. The book also raises questions that still need answers if we’re to avoid ‘another Charlottesville’ from happening again.” Charlie Moore, Executive Producer, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN
The book is available for pre-order now, and it really does help if you pre-order so that the publisher can get a good sense of interest ahead of time.
We will be having a launch event for the book in July in Charlottesville, with more details to come.
Finally, I can’t say much about this last one, but I’m back in front of the camera for a new secret project! For now, here’s a sneak peak…
Thanks for reading, and please consider sharing this newsletter with friends and family! And pre-order please!