Flatland was a project born from the love of place–specifically, Central Illinois, but more broadly the small-town experience. The stories and photos in this collection were brought together to celebrate that life and the people that live and work within it.
The fabric of this small-town society is changing, and quickly. For better or for worse, there’s loss in it. Much like growing up, there are some things to which you cannot return. All the more reason then to capture the beauty, the strangeness, and the emotion of the flatlands now, before it all weathers and falls, just like the barns along its pitted roads. — from the Preface
Praise for Flatland:
“Flatland is a work of grace. These twenty-five stories are earnest, defiant gifts, ruptures, essential cultural breaches, hardly the gasps our contemporary world would have us patronize. They are fiats, not flutterings, and they will not, as the protagonist of one story laments, find themselves on some shelf without their story told. The greatest gifts always outlive their material lives, and in Bohlen we have one of today’s greatest literary and cultural benefactors.”
—Christopher Merkner, The Rise and Fall of the Scandamerican Domestic
“In this extraordinary collaboration between writer Teague von Bohlen and photographer Britten Leigh Traughber, Flatland pays tribute to disappearing Illinois farmlands, to the small, rural towns and working families of the Midwest. Bohlen’s exquisitely detailed, elegiac short fictions, placed beside haunting black and white photographs, create a third presence–an indelible portrait, superbly rendered, of memory, place, and time. Words get no better than this. What a brilliant, unforgettable book–reminiscent of James Agee and Walker Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.
—Melissa Pritchard, A Solemn Pleasure and Palmerino
Flatland is available from Amazon at this link, but please consider purchasing the book directly from the publisher (Bronze Man Books), or ask a local bookstore to carry it. Supporting small publishers and small-town businesses are good things.
The Snarktastic Guide to College Success is a student-strategy textbook published by Pearson in 2014.
The Pull of the Earth won the Colorado Book Award for fiction in 2007. It was published by Ghost Road Press, a defunct but sorely-missed small literary press.