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. Sheila maintained a beauty shop for years and, though she retired from that business some time ago, still cares for the hair of the deceased at Meader & Son. “Mill Town is a powerful, blistering, devastating book. 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? I was there. Perhaps it was our fault in the end. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. This is a book about residues and legacies; I know that Mill Town will stay with me for years to come. My mother was his best caregiver and spent every day trying to get him to live. He blended into the background, as improbable as that seems. Was that lying under his prognosis? Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. Their house and the business are basically one and the same, changed, appended to, refurbished over the years; the upstairs apartment Arthur’s parents lived in became a casket room; a neighbor’s property became a parking lot; and the Meaders purchased a large house next door that became their residence, which they later connected through a small overpass to the funeral home. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for her seemingly secure childhood. For over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that employs most townspeople, including three generations of Arsenault’s own family. I look at the article Arthur has copied for me. What they forgot to consider was there’s not much left in town to see but Bunyan himself and those garish blue hoofprints that end abruptly at Rite Aid. On the wall of a downstairs guest bedroom, a photo of him skiing at Black Mountain in 1963, heading through a slalom gate. In addition, testing of chemicals is standardized to a degree, but it depends on the country where they will be used and the will and power of the agency regulating them. About Kerri Arsenault All I can do is continue to connect the dots, drawing one line to another until some kind of shape emerges. Review: 'Mill Town: Reckoning With What Remains,' by Kerri Arsenault NONFICTION: A disturbing look at the fragile existence of small-town Maine weaves personal history and environmental alarm. The third time, I’m going to ask you, where are you working now?” Arthur always showed up. Comments / 0. For over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that employs most townspeople, including three generations of Arsenault’s own family. Arsenault's relentless, unsparing exploration goes to the heart of American life, and I can think of no book that's more relevant to this moment in time than Mill Town. Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Arrest, Kerri Arsenault's Mill Town is the book of a lifetime; a deep-drilling, quick-moving, heartbreaking story of one working-class family in one working town, which is also the much bigger American story of how harm settles on and in some of those who love the country most. “Mill Town is a powerful, blistering, devastating book. Some people do not. $27.99. Arsenault had a happy childhood, but years after moving away, she realized the price she paid for that childhood. By Kerri Arsenault. Scientists are trained to be inconclusive and cautious. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for her seemingly secure childhood. Besides, what could I do? After they assembled his improved skeleton, workers wriggled up and out of the neck, one at a time—like the snakes on Medusa’s head come to life in lumberjack disguise—then reattached his head. Someone leaves town. Cart All. 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? Kerri Arsenault is both a graceful writer and a grieving daughter in search of answers and ultimately, justice. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. After I leave Arthur and Sheila’s house, I walk over to the Tourist Information Booth parking lot to see the falls. Her hometown in Maine was despoiled by the very paper mill that built it. 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? I read somewhere because the heart and lungs work together, asbestosis can contribute to cardiac issues. Created by Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature. One in three people develop cancer over their lifetime, so maybe the question is, when will we get cancer? His website, which I consulted at the time, also advises on funeral and cemetery etiquette, like what to wear, what not to say, what you’ll need, how to memorialize someone you love. Skip to main content.sg. Kerri Arsenault investigated how the paper mill in her hometown of Mexico, Maine, affected the financial and physical well-being of its residents. His “failure to thrive,” may have been because the last nurse was careless and the nursing board even more so. My father always showered after work at the mill but it didn’t matter. In the US the regulatory approach is largely innocent until proven guilty. Maine's premier, independent public media resource. The mill, while providing community, work, and stability, also contributed to the destruction of the environment and our health. Kerri Arsenault narrates Mill Town, her examination of Mexico, Maine, the town she grew up in, uncovering stories of corporate greed and malfeasance, communities torn between needing mill jobs and struggling to stay healthy, and so much more. If I learned anything in ten years of research, it was that records are wrong all the time. I can’t forget it. The only straight line I’ve found in this whole damn mess is the clothesline where my mother hung her wash. It is also our burden to decode the vernacular of toxicologists and environmentalists and academics and journalists who feed us the news; don’t we already have burdens enough? Like Kerri Arsenault I grew up in Mexico, Maine the town across the river from the paper mill that dominates life, the economy, and the environment in the River Valley. 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 Slowly, beautifully, terribly something comes to the surface. 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? With fiercely  poetic pen, Arsenault  gives us a brilliant personal account of a heart-breaking national tale. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for that seemingly secure childhood. Kerri Arsenault, author, “Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains;” book critic, book editor at Orion magazine, and a contributing editor at The Literary Hub.Arsenault is also a mentor for PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program. Muskie always saw both sides to every argument, the kind of guy who went hunting as a kid but would never shoot anything. For over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that employs most townspeople, including three generations of Arsenault’s own family. MILL TOWN: Reckoning with What Remains. 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. Tampons, diapers, beef, breast milk, cheese, air: what’s the total intake? I never paid much attention to Bunyan despite his size. Rachel Carson called chemicals “sinister” in her 1962 landmark book Silent Spring. 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. Or maybe an interactive feature so future generations can see what the world was like before we choked it with garbage that contains the half-life of a zillion years. Nobody is coordinating such a thing. At the river’s edge, I see Edmund Muskie’s smaller, more serious memorial of squat, dark gray granite (he grew up here too). Arthur and I have been talking for hours, and by now the sun has tilted west. He offers me a glass of his favorite, a fifteen-year-old Glenlivet matured in French oak casks. Against a resistant president and House of Representatives and industry inaction, he helped enact the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act by trying to answer a question he often asked himself: how do you create an environment people can enjoy while protecting it? Bittersweet memories and a long-buried atrocity combine for a heartfelt, unflinching, striking narrative combination.”, Publisher’s Weekly starred review: 5/19/2020. Kerri Arsenault is both a graceful writer and a grieving daughter in search of answers and ultimately, justice. He says his one rule is to lead by example. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. But it ends—as stories of extractive industries often do—with a sorrowful legacy of contaminated waters, illness and loss. What about before he was sick, when he worked as a pipefitter in the mill? But I meet Arthur in his “arrangement office,” where normally a different rush of water occurs: people are breaking into tears. “James always had a goal and if he reached that goal, he’d set another one, and another one, and another one,” Arthur says. 354 pages. 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. At a 1964 conference on asbestosis sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences, scientists presented data showing that asbestos was found in people “who lived in the same house with workers who came home with asbestos dust on their clothes.” It turns out asbestos can cling not only to someone’s clothes, but to their lunch basket, shoes, hair, car, bedding, skin, sofa, and subsequently end up in their family’s lungs, too. So if the law fails us, what else can we do? We broke the rules of our family’s way of life, rules they encouraged us to break; we chose different paths. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working-class town of Mexico, Maine. Part personal story and part investigative reporting, Arsenault documents how her childhood in a typical Maine mill town illustrates the plight of the working class, and the hazards brought on by the very entities that support these working-class families. RECOMMENDATIONS: Five books that changed my ideas about storytelling, Literary Hub. Arthur shows up for families, too. The nursing board determined there was no violation of the law and voted to dismiss my mother’s complaint a year after my father died in their care, and they considered the matter closed. He sought election to make the country better.” So Muskie adopted a tailor’s mien and went to work. From there we walk through a fire door built into a two-foot-thick wall in the basement of the house, which then empties into a big sunroom. Mill Town: Reckoning With What Remains: Arsenault, Kerri: Amazon.sg: Books. For over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that employs most townspeople, including three generations of Arsenault's own family. --Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance Tort laws and regulation provide some protection for people with cancer but, as William Boyd writes in his paper “Controlling Toxic Harms,” laws are “inadequate” because of their demand for scientific precision and evidence of harm, especially when trying to prove community exposure, where risk factors can be as diverse as the people who live there. Was it stressed from working amid chloroform, benzene, mercury, dioxin, and butadiene? It’s also a powerful glimpse of how corporate power, small town pride, and death are entwined in America: a vivid insight to the unbuilding of an American dream, this will be one of the major nonfiction books of a year in which the debate over what America is will rage. Perhaps it was our fault in the end. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. There are lines we follow (family lines), lines we shouldn’t cross (picket lines), and lines we hardly dare to bridge (silences among ourselves). We keep them hidden in the earth, invisible to the naked eye. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for her seemingly secure childhood. Mill Town Maine Itunes AudioFile (magazine) Kerri Arsenault Behind The Mic AudioFile Magazine Dreamscape Media Google Host Jo Reed Michele Cobb Mill Jobs Audiobook Listening Audiobook Clips Podcasts. This fierce and impeccably researched work really got my blood boiling about the plunder mechanism of capitalism and its blow against life. How can we trust the law? Kerri Arsenault is both a graceful writer and a grieving daughter in search of answers and ultimately, justice. Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. $27.99. 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. Bookish and six feet four inches tall, he was a giant in real life although painfully shy (admittedly so) and smart: so smart that, as a student, he was asked more than once to substitute for his teachers when they fell ill. There are long delays between environmental exposures and cancer, too long to calculate, and each cancer comes with individual risk factors, symptoms, causes. That paper mill … It indicates his immediate cause of death was esophageal cancer “due to (or as a consequence of)” lung carcinoma; “due to (or as a consequence of)” prostate cancer; “due to (or as a consequence of)” coronary artery disease, with “other significant conditions contributing to the death but not resulting in the underlying cause given in the above consequences: COPD, respiratory failure with PE, failure to thrive, aspiration.”. 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