1. 'He's Our Baby': What Happens When a Child Is Placed in Foster Care

    longreads:

    Cris Beam | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | August 2013 | 23 minutes (5,787 words)

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    Below is the opening chapter of To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, the new book by Cris Beam, as recommended by Longreads contributing editor Julia Wick. Thanks to Cris and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sharing it with the Longreads community.

    1. King Solomon’s Baby


    It was an unusually warm October in Brooklyn; the men had switched their puffy coats for crisp white tank tops, and the young mothers pried back the plastic casings on their strollers. All two thousand people from the Roosevelt housing projects seemed to be tumbling outdoors, leaning on cars or gathering at the bodegas, slanting their faces toward the sun to soak in the last bits of warmth before winter. You couldn’t tell, on a clear morning like this, that the Roosevelt Houses still tipped the scales in the 81st Precinct with their homicide rates, that by nightfall the bodegas would fill with toothless addicts buying loosies for a quarter. A bright morning like this could make anybody grateful.

    Read More

    Read Cris Beam’s memoir, Mother, Stranger.  

  2. In I Am J, Cris Beam imagines the tumultuous life of a transgendered youth. Although it’s a work of fiction, she explains in The Guardian that it was personal experience, not politics, that motivated her to write it.

"I think a lot of authors feel like this – drawn to write out of both love and a need to resolve something confusing, painful or just out of reach."


Cris Beam wrote Mother, Stranger, a memoir about her own troubled childhood, for The Atavist last year.

    In I Am J, Cris Beam imagines the tumultuous life of a transgendered youth. Although it’s a work of fiction, she explains in The Guardian that it was personal experience, not politics, that motivated her to write it.

    "I think a lot of authors feel like this – drawn to write out of both love and a need to resolve something confusing, painful or just out of reach."

    Cris Beam wrote Mother, Stranger, a memoir about her own troubled childhood, for The Atavist last year.

  3. Ron Hogan talks to Cris Beam about publishing her memoir, Mother, Stranger

  4. redvelvetteacake:

    Todd Hido - houses at night

    A haunting Todd Hido photograph also graces the cover of our story Mother, Stranger

  5. Listen to Cris Beam read from 'Mother, Stranger' →

  6. Mother, Stranger from The Atavist on Vimeo.

    Watch a trailer for our new story Mother, Stranger by Cris Beam. 

  7. Last night, The Atavist convened an all-star panel—featuring David Dobbs, Cris Beam, and Clive Thompson—to discuss what future, if any, memoir has in the digital age. Look at the photos here. 

    Last night, The Atavist convened an all-star panel—featuring David Dobbs, Cris Beam, and Clive Thompson—to discuss what future, if any, memoir has in the digital age. Look at the photos here

  8. RSVP for our free Valentine’s Day event!

    Two of our bestselling authors will discuss their memoirs about their mothers, and the role of memoir writing in the digital age. 

    Drinks and dessert will be served.

    6:30 p.m. at Brooklyn’s Melville House. RSVP here