Frontier Gothic: Transcendentalists, Puritans and Pilgrims in Alaska
Please join the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP) and the Yale Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI) on Wednesday, April 23, for a conversation with Alaska author Tom Kizzia.
He will discuss his new bestselling non-fiction book, Pilgrim’s Wilderness (Crown), set in a historic white pioneer mining community inside North America’s biggest national park. The book explores how clashing modern Alaskan attitudes toward wilderness revealed themselves in an escalating conflict between back-to-the-land park residents and the defiant, fear-encircled Calvinist cult family of a charistmatic “nature-loving” patriarch named Papa Pilgrim.
A veteran Alaska journalist, Kizzia will address the crush of era-defining political and economic forces that have collided in Alaska in a single generation: oil development, Native land claims, wilderness preservation, and protection of subsistence hunting and fishing cultures.
His first book, The Wake of the Unseen Object (Holt/University of Nebraska), explored these forces of modernity as they affected Alaska’s remote indigenous villages.
The talk, co-sponsored by YCELP and YCEI, begins at 5:30 PM in Kroon Hall’s Burke Auditorium (195 Prospect Street); it concludes the Climate and Energy Bookshelf speaker series featuring new publications by renowned environmental policy scholars including Todd Wilkinson, Mary Wood, and Brian Keane.
Tom Kizzia is author of the best-selling book Pilgrim’s Wilderness, which was ranked number five on Amazon’s Top Ten Books of 2013 list. Reviewers called the book “extraordinary” (Wall Street Journal), “spellbinding” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) and “gripping” (Los Angeles Times and Outside Magazine). His first book, The Wake of the Unseen Object, was named one of the best all-time non-fiction books about Alaska by the state historical society. A graduate of Hampshire College, he was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News for more than 25 years and a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. He lives in Homer, Alaska.