Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains
ISBN: 1250799686
EAN13: 9781250799685
Language: English
Publication Date: Sep 7, 2021
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback

Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains

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Book Overview

In Mill Town Kerri] 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

Mill Town is a powerful, blistering, devastating book. Kerri Arsenault is both a graceful writer and a grieving daughter in search of answers and ultimately, justice. 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


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 Arsenault's 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 town's 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?

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