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Kerri
Award Winning Author
Editor, Teacher, Fellow & Literary Critic
Travels from: Hartford, CT

“In this masterful debut, the author creates a crisp, eloquent hybrid of atmospheric memoir and searing exposé… Bittersweet memories and a long-buried atrocity combine for a heartfelt, unflinching, striking narrative combination.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred)

Kerri Arsenault is a literary critic, co-director and co-founder of The Environmental Storytelling Studio at Brown University, contributing editor at Orion magazine, Democracy Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, and author of Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains. Her writing has been published in the Boston Globe, The Paris Review, the New York Review of Books, Freeman’s, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. She is currently a fellow at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia.

Mill Town won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Maine Literary Award for nonfiction, and the Italian edition (trans. by Umberto Manuini) won an Inge Feltrinelli Prize, dedicated to women writers who have used their voices in defense of human rights.

Mill Town was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize for best first book in any genre, the Eric Zencey Prize in Ecological Economics, the New England Society Book Awards, the New England Independent Booksellers Association nonfiction prize, the Connecticut Book Awards; and the Chautauqua Prize.

Kerri is a mentor for the New City Critics Fellow program for the Urban Design Forum (a publication of the Architectural League of New York) and a member of the American Society for Environmental History, PEN America, Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, and the National Book Critics Circle.

Kerri's Featured Titles

Mill Town

Griffin |
Non-Fiction

Winner of the 2021 Rachel Carson Environmental Book Award
Winner of the 2021 Maine Literary Award for Nonfiction
Finalist for the 2020 National Book Critics John Leonard Prize for Best First Book
Finalist for the 2021 New England Society Book Award

Finalist for the 2021 New England Independent Booksellers Association Award
New York Times Editors’ Choice and Chicago Tribune top book for 2020

Mill Town is the book of a lifetime; a deep-drilling, quick-moving, heartbreaking story. Scathing and tender, it lifts often into poetry, but comes down hard when it must. Through it all runs the river: sluggish, ancient, dangerous, freighted with America’s sins.” Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland

Kerri Arsenault grew up in the small, rural town of Mexico, Maine, where for over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that provided jobs for nearly everyone in town, including three generations of her family. Kerri had a happy childhood, but years after she moved away, she realized the price she paid for that childhood. The price everyone paid. The mill, while providing the social and economic cohesion for the community, also contributed to its demise.

Mill Town is a book of narrative nonfiction, investigative memoir, and cultural criticism that illuminates 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?

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Coming Soon!

Kerri’s Resources Link

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Mill Town Yearbook Link

Kerri’s Writing Link

Mill Town Pictures Link

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Special 2023 Inge Feltrinelli Prize (Italy), dedicated to women writers who have used their voices in defense of human rights
University of Missouri ONE READ selection, 2022-2023
Winner of the 2021 Rachel Carson Environmental Book Award
Winner of the 2021 Maine Literary Award for Nonfiction
Finalist for the 2021 Connecticut Book Awards
Finalist for the 2020 National Book Critics John Leonard Prize for Best First Book
Finalist for the 2021 New England Society Book Award
Finalist for the 2021 New England Independent Booksellers Association Award
A New York Times Editors’ Choice and Chicago Tribune top book for 2020
Barnes & Noble’s “Essential Election Reading” 2020
“Best Social Science Books” 2020
Oprah magazine’s “Best Books of Fall 2020”
A September 2020 Indie Next Pick
Amazon Editors’ pick “Best Biographies and Memoirs 2020″
Literary Hub’s Most Anticipated Books Of 2020
A Goodreads September 2020 Top History/Biography Pick
Publishers Weekly Fall 2020 Top 10 for Politics & Current Events Pick
Newsweek “Fall Must-Read Fall Nonfiction”
People Magazine’s “Best New Books”, 2020
The Millions’ “Most Anticipated Books”, 2020
Junior Library Guild selection, 2021

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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