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Sick and contradicted
Friends! This isn’t typical to have a mid-week post like this, but what is the point of having this space if I don’t share the occasional cool thing I’m involved with? In this case it is a little round table discussion I am participating in with Kerri Arsenault, the author of Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains. We will be joined by environmental historian and writer Leif Fredrickson, who is also one of the co-hosts of the excellent podcast Death in the West.
Kerri is a book critic, the book editor at Orion magazine, and a contributing editor at The Literary Hub. Her work has appeared in Freeman’s, the Boston Globe, Down East, the Paris Review Daily, the New York Review of Books, Air Mail, and the Washington Post.
Here are the goods on Mill Town, straight from Kerri's website:
I grew up in the rural town of Mexico, Maine, where for over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that provided jobs for most people, including three generations of my family. I had a happy childhood, but years after I moved away, I realized the price I paid for that childhood. The price we all paid. The mill, while providing community, work, and stability, also contributed to the destruction of the environment and our health.
Mill Town is a book of narrative nonfiction, investigative memoir, and cultural criticism that illuminate the rise and collapse of the working-class, the hazards of loving and leaving home, and the ambiguous nature of toxics and disease with the central question; Who or what are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival?
AND NOW SOME BREAKING NEWS!
Mill Town has just been nominated for the 2020 John Leonard Prize, from the National Books Critics Circle, awarded to the best first book in any genre. Go, Kerri!
I grew up kind of a mill town kid too; my dad worked at the paper mill in Frenchtown for more than 40 years. We will talk about that shared experience as well as the legacy these mills leave behind. I’d say more, but then you wouldn’t need to join us, would you? We are all proven jibber jabberers, so it will be a spirited discussion and it will be interesting.
It all goes down this Thursday, January 28th, at 6:00pm. You may register for it by clicking HERE.
You can order Mill Town HERE.