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Kerri Arsenault

Teoksen Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains tekijä

1+ Work 174 jäsentä 10 arvostelua

About the Author

Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working-class town of Mexico, Maine. For more than a hundred years the community orbited around a paper mill that employed most townspeople, including three generations of Arsenault's family. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for näytä lisää her happy childhood. The mill, while providing social and economic cohesion for the community, also contributed to its demise and-the destruction of the environment in a slow-moving catastrophe, earning the area the nickname "Cancer Valley." Mill Town is a work of narrative nonfiction, 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. Mill Town is a moral wake-up call that asks: Who or what are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival? näytä vähemmän
Image credit: From author's website, https://www.kerri-arsenault.com/

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Everything is poisoned, paper mills are toxic waste factories, the government is lying (either outright or by omission) to us. Some people like reading tragic fiction, I apparently gravitate towards the real thing.

I found this to be a depressing but necessary read, especially being a Mainer. Now please excuse me while I go and Google dioxin...
 
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kristilabrie | 9 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 16, 2023 |
A very personal account of a paper-mill town in Maine. While some more focus might have made this a tighter volume, overall I found it quite fascinating and it very much held my attention.
 
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JBD1 | 9 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 20, 2021 |
MEmoir/ History / Political Treatise... all in one package. I'll be honest, I picked up this book thinking it would be a bit closer to my own history of being in and around a mill town. In my case, the actual mill town was, by my time - roughly when Arsenault was graduating HS - , just a neighborhood of a larger County seat town it was founded just outside of around the same time as the mill Arsenault writes about. I know what it is like to live in such an area and have the mill be such an important aspect of your life, and I was expecting a bit more of an examination of that side of life. Which is NOT what we get here. Instead, we get much more of the specific familial and mill history of Arsenault and this particular mill and its alleged past and current environmental misdeeds. We even get a screed against Nestle along the way, and even a few notes of misandrist feminism. Also quite a bit of heaping of anti-capitalist diatribe, all tied up in Arsenault's own complicated emotions of being someone who cares about her home town, but who it was never enough for. (The exact dichotomy I was hoping would have been explored directly far more than it actually was, fwiw, as that is exactly what I struggle with myself.) Overall, your mileage may vary on this book depending on just how ardent you are in your own political beliefs and just how much they coincide with Arsenault's own, but there was nothing here to really hang a reason on for detracting from the star level of the review, and hence it gets the full 5* even as I disagreed with so much of it and was so heavily disappointed that it didn't go the direction I had hoped. Recommended.… (lisätietoja)
 
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BookAnonJeff | 9 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 11, 2021 |
I only finished this book because it was a gift. At first it seemed to be about how a paper mill caused widespread cancer in a rural Maine town, but it soon became clear that the only theme tying the story together was dullness. Arsenault jumps from topic to topic and then makes it worse by dumping every last-minute thought into the final chapters. And we never learn any hard answers about the cancers that took (and continue to take?) the lives of so many.

And the similes. “Pollution hovered like sorties flying low over our lonesome town” and “His initial words were a territorial warning like Brenda’s big crunch of celery that staccatos our lunch conversation” and “He pushed to overcome his shyness, a flaw he wore like a hair shirt.” There were so many groan-worthy, head-scratching, cringe-inducing similes and metaphors that I wished I had circled and counted them, but I wasn’t willing to put myself through the agony of rereading the book.

Photos are plopped on pages with no relevance to text, no titles, no captions.

But it’s when Arsenault tries to explain why people in her town voted overwhelmingly for Trump (which I was actually interested in learning), that she lost me for good by stating, “Trump, however, saw us.”

If she could be that willingly ignorant, I’m not sure there is anything in this book that can be believed.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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DonnaMarieMerritt | 9 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 3, 2021 |

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