NonFiction Book Club

Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains


Kerri Arsenault

FROM THE BOOK JACKET: 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 Arsenaults 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 towns 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?

about me — Kerri ArsenaultAUTHOR INFO: Kerri 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 Universitys Communication for Development masters programme. Her writing has appeared in Freemans, Lithub, Oprah.com, and The Minneapolis Star Tribune, among other publications. She lives in New England. Mill Town is her first book.


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