The Tarball Chronicles: A Journey Beyond the Oiled Pelican and Into the Heart of the Gulf Oil Spill

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9781571313331: The Tarball Chronicles: A Journey Beyond the Oiled Pelican and Into the Heart of the Gulf Oil Spill
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The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history: over the course of three months, nearly five million barrels of crude oil gushed into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and washed up along our coast. Yet it was an avoidable environmental catastrophe preceded by myriad others, from Three-Mile Island to the Exxon Valdez.

Traveling the shores of the Gulf from east to west with oceanographers, subsistence fisherman, seafood distributors, and other long-time Gulf residents, acclaimed author and environmental advocate David Gessner offers an affecting account of the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. With The Tarball Chronicles Gessner tells a story that extends beyond the archetypal oil-soaked pelican, beyond politics, beyond BP. Instead he explores the ecosystem of the Gulf as a complicated whole and focuses on the people whose lives and livelihoods have been jeopardized by the spill. He reintroduces this oil spill as a template for so many man-made disasters and the long-term consequences they pose for ecosystems and communities.

From the compelling people and places Gessner encounters on his journey we learn not only the extensive consequences of our actions but also how to break a destructive cycle. Throughout, The Tarball Chronicles suggests we can make a change in the way we live and prevent future disasters if we are willing to fundamentally rethink our connections to the natural world. "This is a book about connections," Gessner writes, "and never have we needed to make connections like we do right now."

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About the Author:

David Gessner is the author of seven books, including My Green Manifesto (Milkweed Editions, 2011), Soaring with Fidel (Beacon Press, 2008), Sick of Nature (Dartmouth Press, 2005), The Prophet of Dry Hill (Beacon Press, 2005), and Return of the Osprey (Ballantine Books, 2002), which was chosen by the Boston Globe as one of the top ten nonfiction books of the year. The winner of a Pushcart Prize as well as the John Burroughs Award for Best Natural History Essay, his work has also appeared in many magazines and journals including the New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe, Outside, the Georgia Review, the Harvard Review, and Orion. He has taught environmental writing at Harvard, and is currently an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he edits the national literary journal, Ecotone.

Review:

Anyone who wanted a first-hand look at the Gulf after the news cycle ended will find it here . . . brilliant.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"If you read only one book about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill this year, it should be this one. If you plan not to read any books about it, make an exception for this blunt, funny, eye-opening quest to find the real stories behind the Gulf crisis." Shelf Awareness

Expressive and adventurous. A profoundly personal inquiry into the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe unique in its hands-on immediacy and far-ranging ruminations.” Donna Seaman, Booklist

Brilliant the best and most original writing coming out of the Gulf.” Scott Dodd, OnEarth magazine, Natural Resources Defense Council

David Gessner is on a roll.” Times-Picayune

Gessner has the heart and mind of an investigative journalist. . . . Not everyone will be pleased with this Jeremiah in our midst, but the word is a fire and a hammer, and Gessner delivers it well.” Mobile Press-Register

An expert naturalist, he not only observes but talks with people who are in the know forceful, insightful, blood-and-guts people who will speak their minds (like David). There is grit and heartbreak and energy in just about everything he writes.” Clyde Edgerton, the author of Lunch at the Piccadilly and Walking Across Egypt

Vivid, funny, opinionated, poignant, and mold breaking Gessner takes us deep into the environmental and personal tragedies of the spill.” Jim Campbell, the author of The Final Frontiersman

Plenty of people are writing about the BP oil disaster, but few indeed will be able to make us feel the reality of it like David Gessner can. The likelihood that his account will also be action-filled and darkly funny is pure bonus.” John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Blood Horses

In this highly readable, firsthand account of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, David Gessner considers the catastrophe in the Gulf as a symptom of even bigger economic and cultural challenges that loom in our future. This excellent book is not judgmental, but thought provoking and well worth reading.”  David Allen Sibley, author of The Sibley Guide to Birds

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9781571313379: The Tarball Chronicles: A Journey Beyond the Oiled Pelican and Into the Heart of the Gulf Oil Spill

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