In conversation with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Environment Reporter Don Hopey.
Prize-winning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold’s Amity and Prosperity is an expose on how fracking shattered a rural Pennsylvania town (just outside of Pittsburgh), and how one lifelong resident brought the story into the national spotlight. An incredible true account of investigative journalism and a devastating indictment of energy politics in America.
Stacey Haney, a lifelong resident of Amity, Pennsylvania, is struggling to support her children when the fracking boom comes to town. Like most of her neighbors, she sees the energy companies’ payments as a windfall. Soon trucks are rumbling down her unpaved road and a fenced-off fracking site rises on adjacent land. But her annoyance gives way to concern and then to fear as domestic animals and pets begin dying and mysterious illnesses strike her family—despite the companies’ insistence that nothing is wrong.
Griswold masterfully chronicles Haney’s transformation into an unlikely whistle-blower as she launches her own investigation into corporate wrongdoing. As she takes her case to court, Haney inadvertently reveals the complex rifts in her community and begins to reshape its attitudes toward outsiders, corporations, and the federal government. Amity and Prosperity uses her gripping and moving tale to show the true costs of our energy infrastructure and to illuminate the predicament of rural America in the twenty-first century.
Eliza Griswold, a Guggenheim fellow, is the author of a collection of poems, Wideawake Field, and a nonfiction book, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam, a New York Times bestseller that was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Prize. She is the translator of I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan.
A book signing will follow the lecture. The author’s current book will be available for sale from Classic Lines.