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Kind Words

“Beth Macy writes about aging from the perspective of the 66 million caregivers experiencing it. She’s in the trenches as they make tough choices about housing and medical care, sticking with them to the final, bittersweet end. Judging from our readers’ reaction to her work, her stories caution and enlighten a nation grappling with the impact of millions of retiring baby boomers.” — Catherine DiBenedetto, Articles Editor at O, The Oprah Magazine.

I never believed that people were born to their crafts until I met Beth Macy, who almost surely emerged from the womb with a reporter’s notebook in hand. Since then she’s been poking around in one person’s life or another, distilling their tragedies, triumphs, and day-to-day mundanities into captivating prose.” Jeff Howe, Wired magazine contributing editor and author of  “Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business.”

“I’ve been reading Beth Macy for years. She is a great American writer. She sees everything, all the precious detail. A few years back, as the world was collapsing around us, she did a story on the temp who was answering phones at a hotline for those in financial hot water. The temp was this immense hero in all these ways that nobody else would have ever recognized. Of course, Macy never called her a hero. She just let the story do the work. I don’t know how Macy found this woman. But she did. She always does.” Roland Lazenby, author of “Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon,” “Phil Jackson’s Long Strange Journey,” and “The Show.”

“Macy’s [work on PTSD] is admirable for many reasons. It’s seamlessly written, it’s rich in telling and heartbreaking detail, and it’s well-reported.” — Laurie Hertzel, Nieman Storyboard, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard; senior editor for books at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

“Beth Macy sees twists and subtleties that other journalists can’t see, and she writes about the world around her with grit, honesty and remarkable grace.  She has a police detective’s diligence and determination, a poet’s way with words, and a born storyteller’s gift for spot-on narrative.” Martin Clark, author of “The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living,” “The Legal Limit” and “Plain Heathen Mischief.”

With the national immigration debate as her springboard, reporter Beth Macy expertly hones in on Hispanic immigrants opening Mexican restaurants, working the fields, hanging drywall and filling classrooms in southwestern Virginia’s Roanoke Valley. She presents many faces and dimensions of a growing population that is still largely invisible in the United States yet bound – by relationships, remittances and dreams – to homelands far away.” — on “Land of Opportunity,” winner of Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.

Macy has a knack for unearthing intimate stories with big repercussions, and her gift is to reveal the triumph and tragedy unfolding every day in small-town lives.” Andrea Pitzer, editor of Nieman Storyboard at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, and author of the forthcoming nonfiction book, “The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov.”

Maybe we remember [Macy] as the reporter who last year waded into cholera, rioting and logistical nightmares in Haiti – a genuinely life-threatening situation – and came back to characterize it as “a nail-biter of a trip.” That trip also provided a reminder that her reporting work has nearly always championed the underdog and the downtrodden. And been carried out with an intimacy borne not only of strong, polished, insightful writing in every single piece, but also a sort of innate inability not to fall in love with her subjects. … It’s that feeling that sets Beth Macy’s work apart from most everybody else’s.” Kurt Rheinheimer, author of “Little Criminals: Short Stories,” editor of The Roanoker magazine and Blue Ridge Country.

Beth Macy is a born storyteller with a nose for dirt and the biggest heart in journalism. She always puts people first, fleshing out the headlines to bring us news of the spirit as well as the day.”  Lee Smith, novelist and author of “Fair and Tender Lendies,” “Oral History” and “The Devil’s Dream,” among many other novels.

Beth is a bulldog of a reporter. She is relentless in her pursuit of a story, competitive as hell, and a miner for facts and details. That’s more than enough for most reporters, but Beth kicks it up to the next level by writing like a fiend. Reading her stories is like watching a documentary film unfold on the page.” — Ralph Berrier, Jr., author of “If Trouble Don’t Kill Me: A Family’s Story of Brotherhood, War, and Bluegrass.”

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