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Powell's Books Presents Lisa Wells in Conversation With Lydia Millet
Like many of us, Lisa Wells has spent years overwhelmed by news of apocalyptic-scale climate change and a coming sixth extinction. She did not need to be convinced of the stakes. But what can be done? Wells embarked on a pilgrimage, seeking answers in dedicated communities — outcasts and visionaries — on the margins of society. Wells meets Finisia Medrano, an itinerant planter and misanthrope leading a group of nomadic activists to rewild the American desert. She finds a group of environmentalist Christians practicing "watershed discipleship" in New Mexico; another group in Philadelphia turning the tools of violence into tools of farming — guns into plowshares. She watches the world’s greatest tracker teach how to read a trail, and visits botanists who are restoring land overrun by invasive species and destructive humans. She talks with survivors of catastrophic wildfires in California as they try to rebuild in new ways that acknowledge the fires will come again. Blending reportage, memoir, history, and philosophy, Wells opens up seemingly intractable questions about the damage we have done and how we might reckon with our inheritance. “Brilliant in its quest…[and] an essential document of our time” (Charles D’Ambrosio), Wells’s new book, Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), demands transformation: If the Earth is our home, if our home is being destroyed — how then shall we live? Wells will be joined in conversation by Lydia Millet, author of A Children's Bible.

Jul 27, 2021 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Lisa Wells
Lisa Wells is a poet and nonfiction writer from Portland, Oregon. Her debut collection of poetry, The Fix, won the Iowa Poetry Prize. Her poems and essays have been published by The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, The Believer, n+1, The Iowa Review, The Poetry Foundation, and others. She lives in Seattle and is an editor for The Volta and Letter Machine Editions.
Lydia Millet
Lydia Millet has written more than a dozen books of literary fiction, most recently a novel called A Children’s Bible (W.W. Norton), which was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction and one of The New York Times Book Review’s Best 10 Books of 2020. Other titles include the novels Sweet Lamb of Heaven (2016) and Mermaids in Paradise (2014). Millet has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction and various other honors and works as a writer and editor at the Center for Biological Diversity, an organization dedicated to fighting climate change and species extinction.