Kerri Arsenault and John Freeman

Discuss Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains
Kerri Arsenault John Freeman Point Reyes Books
Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 7:00pm


Sliding scale ($0-$100)

Kerri Arsenault joins us via Crowdcast to discuss her debut book, Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains (St. Martin's Press), with poet, editor, and writer John Freeman. The pair will discuss slow violence, the need to live together, the difficulty of doing so, and why even when we find ourselves within an idyllic setting - a park or a small town -- the gremlins of humanity are already inside the keep. 

This event is co-sponsored by Orion Magazine and will be presented on our Crowdcast Channel. 

This is a free event, though donations or book purchases are encouraged. Visit Crowdcast to register.

About Mill Town

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 an 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 toxics and disease. Mill Town is a moral wake-up call that asks, Whose lives are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival?

About the authors

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 University’s Communication for Development master’s programme. Her writing has appeared in Freeman’s, Lithub,, and The Minneapolis Star Tribune, among other publications. She lives in New England. Mill Town is her first book.

John Freeman is the editor of Freeman's, a literary annual which features new writing by Louise Erdrich, Olga Tokarczuk, Robin Coste Lewis and Haruki Murakami, among others. He has written three books of nonfiction, The Tyranny of Email, How to Read a Novelist and Dictionary of the Undoing, as well as two collections of poems, Maps and The Park, both published by Copper Canyon. A child of California public schools, he lives today in New York City, where he is artist-in-residence at NYU and executive editor of The Literary Hub. Between 2014 and 2020, he edited a series of anthologies on inequality, concluding this year Tales of Two Planets, which focuses on the collision of the climate crisis and global inequality. Freeman's work has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains By Kerri Arsenault Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250155931
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now (Usually Ships in 1-5 Days)
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 1st, 2020

Dictionary of the Undoing By Valeria Luiselli (Afterword by), John Freeman Cover Image
By Valeria Luiselli (Afterword by), John Freeman
ISBN: 9780374538859
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now (Usually Ships in 1-5 Days)
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - November 12th, 2019

Freeman's: Love By John Freeman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802157836
Availability: Not On Our Shelves Now (Usually Ships in 1-5 Days)
Published: Grove Press - October 13th, 2020

The Park By John Freeman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781556595950
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Copper Canyon Press - May 5th, 2020