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Author Reading: Bathsheba Demuth w/ Kerri Arsenault

  • Twenty Stories Bookstore 107 Ives Street Providence, RI (map)

Join us at our Fox Point store as we welcome Bathsheba Demuth and her new book FLOATING COAST (W.W. Norton & Company). After the reading, Demuth will be in conversation with writer Kerri Arsenault, followed by a Q&A and book signing!

About the book:

“In a time when human desire bends so very much of what it encounters to its own image, Demuth's debut encourages us to think about the very physical limits of such a proposition. Easily one of the most innovative and poetic natural histories I have read in years.” — Elizabeth Rush, author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore

Along the Bering Strait, through the territories of the Inupiat and Yupik in Alaska, and the Yupik and Chukchi in Russia, Bathsheba Demuth explores an ecosystem that has long sustained human beings. Yet when Americans and Europeans arrived with self-serving ideas of human progress, the Chukchi and Seward Peninsulas and surrounding waters became the site of an historical experiment. Here, the great modern ideologies of production and consumption, capitalism and communism, were subject to the pressures of arctic scarcity.

Whales and walruses, caribou and fox, gold and oil: through these resources Demuth draws a vivid portrait of the sweeping effects of turning ecological wealth into economic growth and state power over the past century and a half. More urgent in a warming climate, and as we seek new economic ideas for a postindustrial age, Floating Coast delivers necessary warnings and poses provocative questions about human desires and needs in relation to environmental sustainability.

About Bathsheba Demuth:

Bathsheba Demuth is an environmental historian, specializing in the lands and seas of the Russian and North American Arctic. Her interest in northern environments and cultures began when she was 18 and moved to the village of Old Crow in the Yukon. For over two years, she mushed huskies, hunted caribou, fished for salmon, tracked bears, and otherwise learned to survive in the taiga and tundra. In the years since, she has visited Arctic communities across Eurasia and North America. From the archive to the dog sled, she is interested in how the histories of people, ideas, places, and non-human species intersect.

About Kerri Arsenault:

Kerri Arsenault is on the Board of the National Book Critics Circle and is the Book Review Editor for Orion magazine. She writes for and teaches nonfiction in The Master of Arts program in Writing and Oral Traditions at the Graduate Institute in Bethany, CT. Her forthcoming book, WHAT REMAINS will be out in fall 2020 and examines the generational and environmental legacies she inherited from growing up in a paper mill town in Western Maine.