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

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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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Winner of the 2013 ASLE Book Award
Winner of the Reed Award for the Best Book on the Southern Environment 2011
Named a Top Book from the South 2011 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A San Francisco Chronicle Gift Book Recommendation for 2011
A Southern Independent Booksellers Bestseller

For those interested in putting the Gulf crisis in perspective, there can be no better guide than this funny, often uncertain, frank, opinionated, always curious, informed and awestruck, accounting of how we’ve gone wrong and could go right, a full-strength antidote to the Kryptonite of corporate greed and human ignorance.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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 a lively, arresting 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, and beyond other oil spill books in the market. Instead, heart on his sleeve and beer in hand, 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. With his

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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:

Winner of The Southern Environmental Law Center's Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment

Praise for The Tarball Chronicles

Anyone who wanted a first-hand look at the Gulf after the news cycle ended will find it here . . . brilliant, thoughtful.” 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

The Tarball Chronicles [is] an eye-opening, jaw-dropping account . . . Gessner crafts a powerfully informative but also immensely relatable narrative. Entertaining and rousing.”
Mother Nature Network

Gessner’s account of his journey blazes out with a fiery, pugilistic style His journey around the Gulf of Mexico offers us a powerful and sobering reminder that whether or not we feel the direct effects of the oil spill in our backyards, we are all implicated, all compromised, and--the most important for Gessner--all connected”
James Lang, America: The National Catholic Weekly

David Gessner is on a roll.” New Orleans Times-Picayune

For those interested in putting the Gulf crisis in perspective, there can be no better guide than this funny, often uncertain, frank, opinionated, always curious, informed and awestruck, accounting of how we’ve gone wrong and could go right, a full-strength antidote to the Kryptonite of corporate greed and human ignorance.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Tarball Chronicles is well worth your time. It’s a darkly entertaining tribute to the Gulf coast, our national sacrifice zone.’ But be warned: You’ll come away discomfited and with more than a few questions of your own.” Tampa Bay Online

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

"Highly readable, strongly recommended." Fred Kasten, WWNO’s "The Sound of Books"

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, the 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
Praise for Soaring with Fidel: An Osprey Odyssey from Cape Cod to Cuba and Beyond

David Gessner’s writing is not only a testament of hope but a beautiful bow to the osprey he lives among.” Terry Tempest Williams

Gessner writes beautifully, with grace and humor.” Publishers Weekly

"An engaging, lyrical guide to osprey migration, Cuba, and a common humanity." Orion Magazine

"Gessner's travels are filled with small delights. He has a great gift for conveying reverence without sanctimony, and even at his most sardonic and self-deprecating, his sense of wonder at the osprey never falters. As he stands on a rock above Cuba's Sierra Maestra, watching ospreys rocket past, we wish we could be up there beside him, binoculars in one hand, a cold beer in the other." George Black, OnEarth

"A grand and cheering journey on the wings of one of nature's most sociable predators." Carl Hiassen, author of Nature Girl

Praise for The Prophet of Dry Hill: Lessons From a Life in Nature

Sharing a philosophy of life and living, Gessner eloquently reacquaints readers old and new to [legendary naturalist John] Hay's magnificent contributions to the art of nature writing." Booklist

"This book is an enormous gift, an act of preservation as important as any chunk of land purchased by The Nature Conservancy. John Hay's stature cannot be overestimated, and David Gessner has done him great justice." Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth

"If Thoreau had wanted a disciple, he couldn't have had a better one than David Gessner This beautiful book should inspire the reader to 'get down in nature, down in the water and the dirt,' as Hay urges. I am sending my copy of this book to the wildlife-destroyer in the White House." Alice Furlaud, NPR reporter

Praise for Sick of Nature

"Comical, energetic, and reverentially irreverent Gessner's literary voice in this book is something new, something different In particular, he argues for and then gleefully demonstrates the enlivening contribution of farce and other modes of narrative in the field of nature writing More like a gulp of laughing gas than the standard breath of fresh air." Orion Magazine

"Reminiscent of Edward Abbey, and, like that writer, [Gessner] leaves you with plenty to ponder. Highly recommended." Library Journal

"Here is an environmental read with irreverent laughter and attentive awe both." Virginia Quarterly Review

"Our best writer of creative nonfiction period." Mark Spitzer, author of Bottom Feeder

Praise for Return of the Osprey: A Season of Flight and Wonder

David Gessner’s writing is not only a testament of hope but a beautiful bow to the osprey he lives among.” Terry Tempest Williams

Through textured anecdotes and graphic details, Gessner provides insights into the life and history of this great sea bird of prey that will delight both the committed birder and the general reader.” Publishers Weekly

This beautifully written story of a season with birds of prey makes for engrossing reading as we learn about osprey life from a master essayist.” Booklist

Thrilling Memorable Among the classics of American nature writing.” Boston Globe

Engrossing An author who’s both sensuous and lyrical while also being pristinely concise.” Rocky Mountain News

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