We’ve been creating the very thing that could be destroying us in the landscape of the American Dream. Arsenault writes nonfiction with the density and beauty of poetry, in this telling of the costs and tolls (environmental, physical, cultural, medical) of industrialization and its aftermath. As Arthur and I talk, the unleafed trees outside magnify the sound of birds hiding in them. Kerri Arsenault’s Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains is a heartfelt story of community and family twined with her personal passion for unveiling truths held captive inside convoluted industry acronyms and jargon, broken URLs and dusty file boxes. Science thrives on skepticism, interpretation, hypotheses, predictions, assumptions, uncertainty. While we largely accept the risks of our own bad behaviors— smoking, drinking, lying in the sun with iodine on our skin—we are trapped in a much bigger environment, one in which we don’t know what all the risks are. But it’s also about the better, more prosperous American life those industries afforded us before we fell ill, as well as the Devil’s bargain that made all this possible, maybe even inevitable. A “powerful investigative memoir… about a soul-crushing portrait of a place….This moving and insightful memoir reminds readers that returning home—’the heart of human identity’—is capable of causing great joy and profound disappointment.”, Kerri Arsenault grew up in a small town many people in town believed in the mill, they adored it, they fought its sale, and then they have worried about its departure. We discussed what my father would have wanted, what we wanted, what other people may want, and were shepherded gently through those final tasks: photos to display, writing the obituary, financial matters. Our Bunyan, I learned, was crafted from the mold of the Muffler Man, a giant fiberglass statue who held mufflers in his outstretched hands as an advertisement on US byways in the 1970s. As corporate greed and malfeasance abound, the community is torn between the mill jobs they desperately need and their struggles with health problems, including a … Kerri Arsenault’s Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains is a heartfelt story of community and family twined with her personal passion for unveiling truths held captive inside convoluted industry acronyms and jargon, broken URLs and dusty file boxes. In addition, if several family members get cancer, it doesn’t count toward the cluster evidence you need. Hello Select your address All Hello, Sign in. Was that a condition of his death? The Library is proud to welcome author Kerri Arsenault as she presents her new book “Mill Town: Reckoning With What Remains”. One of O Magazine's Best Books of Fall 2020Newsweek’s “Must-Read Fall Nonfiction”A Publishers Weekly Top 10 books for Politics & Current Events “Mill Town is a powerful, blistering, devastating book. “Mill Town is a powerful, blistering, devastating book. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. Yet it’s almost impossible to draw a straight line from our mill to cancer. The price they all paid. MILL TOWN: Reckoning With What Remains. One in three people develop cancer over their lifetime, so maybe the question is, when will we get cancer? For over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that employs most townspeople, including three generations of Arsenault’s own family. It’s a property where the past never recedes and the personal is always mixed with business; much of Arthur’s “bread and butter” is from the paper mill that employs the majority of residents in town. Mexico and neighboring Rumford have been defined for over 100 years by the paper mill. And if they did? Though this book is about the author’s hometown, it could be about most any small town in America. Did toxics like dioxin bioaccumulate in my grandfather’s blood, and in doing so, crawl up the food chain to my father and probably to me? The law also includes the EPA, which has been accused of colluding with industry at the expense of humans and the planet it’s tasked to protect. $27.99. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. Yet on June 1, 2018, the EPA announced a “significant new use rule” to allow US companies to manufacture, import, and process new asbestos-containing products. Yet connecting asbestos exposure to lung cancer is difficult to do. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. --Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance . The Rumford selectmen had voted in 2009 to use $6,500 from their economic development fund to create Babe, figuring he would encourage tourists to follow his meandering line around town. But why? “Mill Town is a powerful, blistering, devastating book. We broke the rules of our family’s way of life, rules they encouraged us to break; we chose different paths. by Kerri Arsenault ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 1, 2020. His prostate removal in 2008 was successful, and, in the year before he died, the word “prostate” was never discussed as a risk factor for lung cancer so why was it on his death certificate now? 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 There’s nothing in the recent medical records to show my father’s triple bypass decades ago contributed to his death. Duty-bound, uncorrupt, and beholden to his “constituents,” serving this community, to Arthur, was never just about doing things right, but also about doing the right thing. When James was in high school, however, Arthur wanted him to do bigger and better things. That paper mill … Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. Arundhati Roy on Indian Suffering Amid the World's Most Repressive Lockdown. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for her seemingly secure childhood. We lean on science for proof but it rarely provides it. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for her seemingly secure childhood. By something not exactly chance, it also happens to be the story of my own home town of Gloversville, New York, where another industry (leather tanning) did the same thing. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for that seemingly secure childhood. Besides, what could I do? No matter the myth, there our Bunyan stands as a guardian for those ambling through the waning mill town of my youth, his shadow sometimes as brooding as the hurtling river beyond. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. Other Muffler Men held hot dogs, fried chicken, and one in Illinois was found holding a rocket. 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? 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? By Kerri Arsenault. There are also lines that lead us down an odd path (Babe, the blue ox) or lines that bisect the haves and the have-nots (sacrifice zones, football teams). “Mill Town is a powerful, blistering, devastating book. Scientists are trained to be inconclusive and cautious. "Mill Town is a powerful, blistering, devastating book. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. Sign in. Kerri Arsenault is both a graceful writer and a grieving daughter in search of answers and ultimately, justice. For over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that employs most … Kerri Arsenault is both a graceful writer and a grieving daughter in search of answers and ultimately, justice. When Kerri Arsenault was growing up in Mexico, Maine, nothing loomed larger than the Rumford paper mill across the Androscoggin River, which gave her small town a measure of prosperity and security, even as mill waste polluted the river and locals nicknamed the area “Cancer Valley.” When we leave home, as James and I did, we leave behind our past but when we return, we encounter a version of home built of legends true and false. MILL TOWN RECKONING WITH WHAT REMAINS. Mill Town by Kerri Arsenault. He got an infection from the mistake, and died of sepsis four days later; wasn’t the fucked-up catheter insertion an underlying cause? If you think your town contains a cancer cluster, consider the criteria: clusters require a greater-than-expected number of cancers in a narrowly defined group, i.e., the people must have the same type of cancer, in a limited geographic area, over a limited period of time, and all these factors have factors, including the limitations of science itself. In telling the story of the town where generations of her family have lived and died, she raises important and … He blended into the background, as improbable as that seems. Then, people started fearing chemicals of any kind, even ones exonerated by science. Through it all runs the river of Mill Town: sluggish, ancient, dangerous, freighted with America's sins. One more question: why wasn’t my father’s name on his union’s memorial that commemorated men who died from working at the mill? Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. MILL TOWN Kerri Arsenault “Masterful, a crisp, eloquent hybrid of atmospheric memoir and searing exposé.” —Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) “[A] powerful, investigative memoir. MILL TOWN: Reckoning with What Remains. In 1982, on Meader & Son’s 65th anniversary, the local paper profiled the funeral home. Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance, Kerri Arsenault's Mill Town tells the story of the community she grew up in, her extended family of hardworking Catholic Franco-Americans in a small mill town in Maine, but it’s also a sweeping, brutal expose of American corporations’ ruining natural resources, poisoning the environment, endangering the health and safety of the working class, and hiding and denying their crimes. But the proof is no less elusive. Kerri Arsenault's Mill Town is a book of narrative non-fiction, investigative memoir, and cultural criticism that illuminates 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?. Author Kerri Arsenault’s new book “Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains” (St. Martin's Press, $27.99) takes the reader inside one such Maine town. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for her seemingly secure childhood. In honor of the statue’s resurrection, Rumford held a festival featuring a lumberjack breakfast, zip line rides over the waterfalls, a facial hair contest, a flannel shirt dinner dance, and an ax throwing competition. "Mill Town is a powerful, blistering, devastating book. Rachel Carson called chemicals “sinister” in her 1962 landmark book Silent Spring. 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