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Corona City: the ‘raw story of the pandemic’

Health and Mental Health

Corona City: the ‘raw story of the pandemic’

The powerful anthologies from journalist, author and editor Lorraine Ash, Corona City: Voices from an Epicenter, chronicles life in New York and New Jersey, the nation’s first COVID-19 epicentre, during the four terrifying months of March through June 2020.

Lorraine Ash, author:

“Corona City is the real, raw story of the pandemic, not sanitized, not politicized, not spun in any way. It focuses on the people and how their minds, their hearts, their daily lives — and, in some cases, their life trajectory — changed because of the pandemic. In my journalism career, I’ve always felt that no story is complete without showing how a policy, a trend, a calamity or an event impacts individuals.”

COVID-19 survivors, frontline workers, business owners, journalists, an opera singer, an addiction counsellor, a cancer patient and many others — 62 in all — lend their perspectives and lay bare the challenges, fears, losses and triumphs of real people in their own words. Photographs capture the surreal landscapes and scenes in this usually thriving metropolis. Emerging from this mosaic of voices is a grassroots history of an unprecedented time.

Lorraine Ash, author:

“This project is all about telling stories and giving voice to narratives about COVID-19. I chose to create an anthology of first-person writings and photographs because the pandemic was a story too big to be told in one voice. This account needed to be polyphonic.”

Corona City: Voices from an Epicenter has won four international awards. The audiobook won the 2023 Independent Publisher Book Award for Outstanding Audiobook of the Year. Additionally, Walker Vreeland won a 2023 Voice Arts Award for Best Audiobook Producer for his work on Corona City. The paperback won Best Anthology and Best COVID-19 Pandemic Book in the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Everyone involved in the project volunteered their efforts, including the publisher, Magic Dog Press; audiobook producer, Walker Vreeland; and audiobook casting director, Margie Lenhart, who recruited 62 professional narrators for the full-cast audiobook, including notable names such as Joe Mantegna of Criminal Minds and Broadway actors Jill Abramovitz, Ron Bohmer, Sandra Joseph, Ta’Nika Gibson and Leah Horowitz.

Lorraine Ash, MA, works as a book editor and author coach specializing in all forms of autobiographical writing. She has penned two memoirs, Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing and Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life. All proceeds from sales of Corona City: Voices from an Epicenter are to be donated to hunger relief.

Corona City: Voices from an Epicenter | Publisher: Magic Dog Press | ISBN-10: ‎1735724505 | ISBN-13: ‎978-1735724508 | Available from

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