I am happy to announce that I will be doing a joint Napa Bookmine Zoom event with Louise Dunlap on Thursday, September 29. Both of our books have been released this month. We share common ground.
I first read a draft of Louise Dunlap’s Inherited Silence: Listening to the Land, Healing the Colonizer Mind as I returned from the Midwest on the California Zephyr. The train crawled most of the way from Galesburg, Illinois, to Martinez, California, its tracks under repair, which gave me plenty of time to witness often troubled landscapes once tended by peoples who lived in more of a balance with the natural world. Moving through high desert now devoid of its keystone native buffalo and passing freight trains the length of several football fields, cars loaded with coal, I was particularly impacted by Louise’s writing.
Yes, we all know the story of how our country was “discovered,” as if white men were the first humans to arrive on the continent. We know about Indian Wars. I was of a generation who watched cowboy and Indian movies and TV shows and then wanted to play our cowboy and Indian games.
But over the last decades, we are slowly acknowledging the truth. That is part of Louise’s book: the reality of what we did to get the land. We need to hear the details because it humanizes the people we displaced. All of us are complicit. We live on taken land. And it impacts everything from how we treat each other to how we, and our land-use policies, mistreat the land.
My book, Fruits of Eden: Field Notes Napa Valley 1991-2021, chronicles Napa County land-use issues impregnated with colonization attitudes which too often do not prioritize the health of the whole environment and its inhabitants. Our books overlap in their love of Earth and its communities. Both books are a prayer, of sorts, for sanity to return, for us to consider the impact of our actions on others, and the integrity of the whole. Both advocate for a change of consciousness if we are to survive the crisis of climate disruption.
Please join us at Napa Bookmine via Zoom on September 29 at 7 pm. We look forward to seeing you and taking your questions.
With warmest wishes,
Please note that this event is free. But your RSVP and registration here is needed in advance.