Co-presented with Orion Magazine and Writers Rebel NYC, the July Climate Reads features Elizabeth Rush, Carolina DeRobertis, and Matt Bell discussing Patricia Engel's Veins of the Ocean.
Reina Castillo is the alluring young woman whose beloved brother is serving a death sentence for a crime that shocked the community, throwing a baby off a bridge—a crime for which Reina secretly blames herself. With her brother’s death, though devastated and in mourning, Reina is finally released from her prison vigil. Seeking anonymity, she moves to a sleepy town in the Florida Keys where she meets Nesto Cadena, a recently exiled Cuban awaiting with hope the arrival of the children he left behind in Havana. Through Nesto’s love of the sea and capacity for faith, Reina comes to understand her own connections to the life-giving and destructive forces of the ocean that surrounds her as well as its role in her family’s troubled history, and, in their companionship, begins to find freedom from the burden of guilt she carries for her brother’s crime.
Elizabeth Rush is the author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, and Still Lifes from a Vanishing City: Essays and Photographs from Yangon, Myanmar. Her work explores how humans adapt to changes enacted upon them by forces seemingly beyond their control, from ecological transformation to political revolution. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Harpers, Granta, Creative Nonfiction, Orion, Guernica and others. Rush is the recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Howard Foundation, Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project, the Society for Environmental Journalism, the National Society of Science Writers and the Metcalf Institute. She teaches at Brown University and is urrently at work on a book about motherhood and Antarctica’s diminishing glaciers.
A writer of Uruguayan origins, Carolina De Robertis is the author of five novels, including The President and the Frog and Cantoras. She’s received two Stonewall Book Awards, a Reading Women Award, an NEA Fellowship, Italy’s Rhegium Julii Prize, and numerous other honors. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages. De Robertis is also an award-winning translator of Latin American and Spanish literature, and editor of the anthology Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times. In 2017, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts named De Robertis on its 100 List of “people, organizations, and movements that are shaping the future of culture.” She teaches at San Francisco State University, and lives in Oakland, California, with her wife and two children.
Matt Bell’s latest novel, Appleseed, was published by Custom House in July 2021. His craft book Refuse to Be Done, a guide to novel writing, rewriting, & revision, will follow in March 2022 from Soho Press. He is also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, a non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate II, and several other titles. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.
Carolina DeRobertis photo credit Lori Eanes