OBLONG ONLINE: Kerri Arsenault - "Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains," in conversation with Sarah S. Kilborne

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
via Zoom

This online event is free. Your purchase of a book helps support the author and our independent bookstore and is greatly appreciated. Shipping or contactless curbside pickup available.


Kerri Arsenault will talk with Sarah S Kilborne (American Phoenix) about her powerful debut Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains - 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?

Kerri ArsenaultMill Town by Kerri ArsenaultSarah S. Kilborne

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.”

Kerri Arsenault is a book critic, and book editor at Orion magazine, and a contributing editor at The Literary Hub. She is a mentor for PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program, graduated with an MFA from the New School, and studied in the Master Programme in communication for development at Malmö University, Sweden. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, The Literary Hub, Air Mail, Freeman’s, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Orion.

Sarah S. Kilborne is an author, performer, and equal rights activist. Her multidisciplinary work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, Buzzfeed, and other national media. She is vice president of the Biographers International Organization and has written several books, including American Phoenix (Simon & Schuster, 2012), a true story of an industrial disaster in which her great-great-grandfather was a central figure. She is also the writer, creator, and principal performer of the acclaimed show The Lavender Blues: The Story of Queer Music Before World War II

American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, A Man Who Turned Disaster Into Destiny By Sarah S. Kilborne Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451671803
Availability: Available in our Warehouse: Usually Ships in 3-8 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 6th, 2014