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. It will be livestreamed at http://new.livestream.com/YaleFES/frontier-gothic.
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.