Virtual: Kerri Arsenault, "Mill Town" in Conversation with Dani Shapiro

Join us for a night of human predicaments in modern America

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Mill TownIn the tradition of Heartland and The Yellow House, a major non-fiction debut, an environmental and moral reckoning of three generations in a Maine paper 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 that 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, moral, and emotional health in a slow-moving catastrophe, earning the area the nickname “Cancer Valley.”

Mill Town is an investigative memoir, as Arsenault undertakes an excavation of a collective past, sifting through historical archives and scientific reports, talking to family and neighbors, and examining her own childhood to present a portrait of a community that illuminates not only the ruin of her hometown and the collapse of the working-class of America, but also the hazards of both living in and leaving home, and the ambiguous nature of toxics and disease. In exquisite prose, Arsenault explores the corruption of bodies: the human body, bodies of water, and governmental bodies, and what it’s like to come from a place you love but which doesn’t always love you back.

A galvanizing and powerful debut, Mill Town is an American story, a human predicament, and a moral wake-up call that asks: what are we willing to tolerate and whose lives are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival?

Kerri ArsenaultKerri Arsenault is the Book Review Editor at Orion magazine, and Contributing Editor at Lithub. Arsenault received her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and studied in Malmö University’s Communication for Development master’s programme. Her writing has appeared in Freeman’s, Lithub, Oprah.com, and The Minneapolis Star Tribune, among other publications. She lives in New England. This is her first book.

Dani ShapiroDani Shapiro is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Inheritance, as well as Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Also an essayist and a journalist, Shapiro’s short fiction, essays, and journalistic pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of the New York Times, and many other publications. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, the New School, and Wesleyan University; she is cofounder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. Shapiro is the host of the hit podcast, Family Secrets. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Please click here to register for the event
REGISTERED ATTENDEES WILL BE PROVIDED WITH A LINK TO THE VIRTUAL MEETING.

Order Mill Town on or before and receive a copy signed by the author. 

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 7:00pm EDT
Event address: 
Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250155931
Availability: On Our Shelves; Typically Ships in 1 - 2 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 1st, 2020

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