Kate Beaton at the Brattle Theatre
Two Years in the Oil Sands
in conversation with JOANNA RAKOFF
September 29, 2022
6:00 PM ET
(Doors at 5:30pm)
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138
$42.50 (book included) - On Sale Now
Harvard Book Store welcomes KATE BEATON—New York Times bestselling webcomic artist and author of Hark! A Vagrant—for a discussion of her debut full length graphic narrative Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands. She will be joined in conversation by JOANNA RAKOFF, bestselling author of My Salinger Year. Featuring a music performance by Cape Breton artist Peter MacInnis.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Brattle Theatre events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the venue. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth. At venues where refreshments are served, attendees may briefly unmask when actively eating or drinking.
- Attendance is capped so as to allow for some social distancing in the venue.
For the time being, we will not be holding author signings at these events, in order to limit close contact. When possible, we will have pre-signed books available for purchase on-site.
Each ticket includes one hardcover copy of Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands.
About Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands
Before there was Kate Beaton, New York Times bestselling cartoonist of Hark! A Vagrant, there was Katie Beaton of the Cape Breton Beaton, specifically Mabou, a tight-knit seaside community where the lobster is as abundant as beaches, fiddles, and Gaelic folk songs. With the singular goal of paying off her student loans, Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta’s oil rush―part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can’t find it in the homeland they love so much. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands, where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet is never discussed.
Beaton’s natural cartooning prowess is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, northern lights, and boreal forest. Her first full length graphic narrative, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people.
Praise for Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands
“An exceptionally beautiful book about loneliness, labor, and survival. Beaton is a thoughtful guide through a complex landscape of class and gender, and these pages ache with grief and grace.”―Carmen Maria Machado, author of In the Dream House
“A masterpiece, a heartbreak, a nightlight shining in the dark.”―Patricia Lockwood, author of No One Is Talking About This
“In Ducks, Kate Beaton doesn’t tell us how capitalism extracts, exploits, commodifies, and alienates. Nor does she show us. She recreates life in an oil sands mining operation in granular detail and allows us to make the connections ourselves―as she had to when she showed up to work there at age twenty-one. The effect is devastating. Despite the brutal toll Beaton suffered personally, she has woven from her experience a vast and complex tapestry that captures the humanity of people doing a kind of “dirty work” in which we are all complicit, and it shimmers with grace.”―Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes
As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and proceed along Brattle St. Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.
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