Virtual Event: Kerri Arsenault

presenting

Mill Town:
Reckoning with What Remains

in conversation with LACY CRAWFORD

Date

Sep
17
Thursday
September 17, 2020
7:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes writer and editor KERRI ARSENAULT for a discussion of her debut memoir, Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains. She will be joined in conversation by novelist and essayist LACY CRAWFORD. Her acclaimed memoir, Notes on a Silencing, is available for purchase here.

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About Mill Town

Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. For over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that employs most townspeople, including three generations of Arsenault’s own family. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for her seemingly secure childhood. The mill, while providing livelihoods for nearly everyone, also contributed to the destruction of the environment and the decline of the town’s economic, physical, and emotional health in a slow-moving catastrophe, earning the area the nickname “Cancer Valley.”

Mill Town is a personal investigation, where Arsenault sifts through historical archives and scientific reports, talks to family and neighbors, and examines her own childhood to illuminate the rise and collapse of the working-class, the hazards of loving and leaving home, and the ambiguous nature of toxins and disease. Mill Town is a moral wake-up call that asks, Whose lives are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival?

Praise for Mill Town

"In Mill Town, Kerri Arsenault has managed a literary hat trick, combining humanity, science, and capitalism, and the price paid not only by her own family in a single state, but across generations, industries, and geographies. She has laid out, in elegant prose and harrowing reportage, the price we may all pay, and in this, she has managed to create at once both a cautionary tale and a literary treasure." —Rachel Louise Snyder, author of No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us

Mill Town is a powerful, blistering, devastating book. Kerri Arsenault is both a graceful writer and a grieving daughter in search of answers and ultimately, justice. In telling the story of the town where generations of her family have lived and died, she raises important and timely questions.” —Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance

“The book of a lifetime; a deep-drilling, quick-moving, heartbreaking story. Scathing and tender, it is written in a clear-running prose that lifts often into poetry, but comes down hard when it must. Through it all runs the river of Mill Town: sluggish, ancient, dangerous, freighted with America's sins. This is a book about residues and legacies; I know that Mill Town will stay with me for years to come.” —Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland

Kerri Arsenault
Kerri Arsenault

Kerri Arsenault

Kerri Arsenault is a book critic, contributing editor at Orion magazine, and the author of Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains, which won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Maine Literary Award for nonfiction. Mill Town was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize. Her work has appeared in Freeman’s, the Boston Globe, the Paris Review, the New York Review of Books, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others. For 2023, she will be a democracy fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard.

Photo Credit: Erik Madigan Heck

Lacy Crawford
Lacy Crawford

Lacy Crawford

Lacy Crawford is an author of fiction and nonfiction, including the satirical novel Early Decision. Her literary journalism includes profiles of Frank Conroy, Reynolds Price, and Shirley Hazzard. Lacy’s other jobs have included high school English teacher, human and environmental rights campaigner, co-convener of a high-level international conference on pandemic influenza, Girl Friday to an English Lord, and Director of the Burberry Foundation. Lacy lives in California with her husband and three children.

Photo Credit: Kenneth Dolin

 

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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