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Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains Kindle Edition
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|Length: 359 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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“Combining personal history with investigative reporting, Arsenault pays loving homage to her family’s tight-knit Maine town even as she examines the cancers that have stricken so many residents.”―The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
“Trenchant and aching…What Arsenault has provided is a model of persistence, thoughtful reflection and vividly human personal narrative in uncovering a heartbreaking story that could be told in countless American towns, along countless American rivers.”―Steve Paul, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Arsenault combines memoir with investigative journalism in this tale of the toxic paper mill at the center of her Maine hometown, an area now nicknamed Cancer Valley.”―People magazine
“Mill Town is preoccupied with a poisonous irony: Rumford’s citizens live and work in a place that makes them unwell… The scale of the problem and of the potential malfeasance could not be grander or more terrifying.”―Emily Cooke, The New York Times Book Review
“With affection and concern, Mill Town recounts ‘Maine’s constant conundrum, an American story, a human predicament.' In rural, working-class towns, the presence of industry amounts to pollution, but its absence gives way to poverty. Within fence-line communities like Arsenault’s Mexico, prosperity and affliction are wholly intertwined.”―Andru Okun, The Boston Globe
“Mill Town poses hard questions that challenge the tacit acceptance of ecological destruction as the price of economic health.”―Los Angeles Times
“Lyrical and compelling prose... What Arsenault presents, with mesmerizing lyricism and endearing honesty, is the story of a dying town wedded to a paper mill that once anchored the local economy while also bringing pollution and cancer. Mill Town puts forth larger questions of the human relationship to the environment; of the violence done to the land that eventually translates into the devastation of the people that live on it. Arsenault’s loyalty is not simply to a limited idea of health that would be typified by paying the ailing damages but on the injustice done to the land on a larger scale.”―Rafia Zakaria, The Baffler
“A valuable addition to the literature of New England’s industrial legacy, something many residents have either forgotten or choose to ignore, to the region’s detriment.”―Alex Hanson, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Mill Town is a rich, rewarding read that defies easy categorization. Despite the gravity of its subject, Mill Town is, at its heart, a love letter to the people and places of Arsenault’s childhood and a plea for a cleaner, brighter future.”―Jessica Lahey, Air Mail
“In this masterful debut, the author creates a crisp, eloquent hybrid of atmospheric memoir and searing exposé... Bittersweet memories and a long-buried atrocity combine for a heartfelt, unflinching, striking narrative combination.”―Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“[A] powerful, investigative memoir....Arsenault paints a soul-crushing portrait of a place that’s suffered 'the smell of death and suffering' almost since its creation. This moving and insightful memoir reminds readers that returning home--"the heart of human identity"--is capable of causing great joy and profound disappointment.” ―Publisher's Weekly (starred)
“Arsenault's compelling debut asks readers to consider how relationships between humans and nature impact our bodies and environment....[A] powerful memoir.”―Library Journal
“An imposing work of narrative nonfiction...Arsenault's account is enlivened by vivid prose, often coolly analytical and yet deeply lyrical. Mexico's melancholy story--one that's mirrored today in thousands of struggling small towns across the U.S.--comes to life in Arsenault's sympathetic, but unfailingly clear-eyed, telling.”―Harvey Freedenberg, Shelf Awareness
“Clear-eyed and self-deprecating, Arsenault is a welcome guide through the history of Mexico and Rumford, capturing the voices of their inhabitants, the stories they tell and the confidences they keep. She is tenacious in her search for answers, tender in her interactions with her mother and their neighbors. A riveting blend of reportage and memoir reveals the secrets of a paper mill town.”―Michael Berry, Maine Sunday Telegram
“For stretches, it is pure memoir – and first-rate memoir at that….In other places, the book is a compelling and taut work of industrial investigation [and] Arsenault is meticulous in her research. Mill Town is haunting and heartbreaking, charming and funny … and utterly exceptional.”―Alan Adams, The Maine Edge
About the Author
- Publication date : September 1, 2020
- File size : 48481 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 359 pages
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press (September 1, 2020)
- ASIN : B084M1RQGH
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1250155932
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #71,101 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Should we be willing to accept higher levels of cancer and other illnesses that affect friends and family, the selling of water resources, and the long-lasting effects of industrial production (in Mexico’s case papermaking) on the land, and the people who live there? My parents still live in Mexico and it was the salary my father earned from his computer job at the mill that fed, housed, and clothed me and my nine siblings. The mill provided the money needed to support our family, but as Kerri eloquently writes it was not always clear that we as a community had all the information to understand the longer-term consequences on our health and well-being. Then again it was not something that the people of Rumford / Mexico ever really questioned. Kerri writes about a local doctor and a Boston based TV news show called “Cancer Valley” that highlights some of the risks faced by those who did question the effects of the looming mill across the river.
The people of the River Valley are a proud and hardworking lot as is Kerri because she is one of them. They are however wary of those from away, even those who were raised there, but have moved away. The exchange in the book that Kerri has with a former teammate who exclaims “don’t make us look like red necks,” is insightful and telling of the risk Kerri undertook in writing about her hometown. Kerri does not make the people of the River Valley look like rednecks’ because they are not, but she does, at least in my case make me want to understand and question more about the legacy of progress. This is a compelling and thought-provoking book that anyone who is interested in understanding the effect of industry on, history, people, and the land should read.
She was extremely detached and the writing was largely devoid of emotion or feeling. As previously stated, very clinical, very dry. Not the kind of writing that draws you in. I wanted to know about families, real stories. She glossed over on that. Pass on this. Very acerbic and unfulfilling portrait. I wasted my $ on the pre-order hardback.
Arsenault doesn't lead her readers to any straight conclusions or easy answers: this is important because such tidy stories often erase all the messiness that cannot be contained and neatly tied up. Instead, the book is an excavation of both presence and absence, the reality that we usually don't/can't find what we are looking for. But we find other things: sometimes the absences and the silences tell the more meaningful stories. And the stories Arsenault tell are so important.