Ten Evenings

Elizabeth Kolbert

In conversation with Terry Tempest Williams

“But who among us is really any different? Here we all are, watching things fall apart. And yet, deep down, we don’t believe it.”

Elizabeth Kolbert, H Is for Hope

In twenty-six essays–one for each letter of the alphabet—Elizabeth Kolbert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction, takes us on a hauntingly illustrated journey through the history of climate change and the uncertainties of our future.

Climate change resists narrative-and yet some account of what’s happening is needed. Millions of lives are at stake, and upward of a million species. And there are decisions to be made, even though it’s unclear who, exactly, will make them.

In H Is for Hope, Elizabeth Kolbert investigates the landscape of climate change–from “A”, for Svante Arrhenius, who created the world’s first climate model in 1894, to “Z”, for the Colorado River Basin, ground zero for climate change in the United States. Along the way she looks at Greta Thunburg’s “blah blah blah” speech (“B”), learns to fly an all-electric plane (“E”), experiments with the effects of extreme temperatures on the human body (“T”), and struggles with the deep uncertainty of the future of climate change (“U”).

Adapted from essays originally published in The New Yorker and beautifully illustrated by Wesley Allsbrook, H Is for Hope is simultaneously inspiring, alarming, and darkly humorous–a unique examination of our changing world.

Elizabeth Kolbert is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change; The Sixth Extinction, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize, and Under the White Sky: The Nature of the Future. For her work at The New Yorker, where she’s a staff writer, she has received two National Magazine Awards, a National Academies Communication Award, and the Blake-Dodd Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Terry Tempest Williams is the award-winning author of The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks; Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; Finding Beauty in a Broken World; and When Women Were Birds, among other books. Her work is widely taught and anthologized around the world. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is currently the Writer-in-Residence at the Harvard Divinity School. She and her husband Brooke Williams divide their time between Cambridge, Massachusetts and Castle Valley, Utah.

“Illustrated throughout with vivid pen-and-ink-style drawings by graphic artist Allsbrook, the book both informs and disturbs us about the climate uncertainties facing humankind, but never without offering glimmers of hope. Its accessibility, readability, and thoughtfulness will undoubtedly appeal to a wide audience. . . . An intelligently provocative and well-presented look at the world’s most pressing issue.”

KIRKUS REVIEWS

Books

Copies of H Is for Hope are available to purchase from White Whale Bookstore. After the lecture, the author will sign books in the Music Hall Foyer.

WHEN

May 12, 2025 at 7:30 p.m. ET

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Carnegie Music Hall (Oakland)

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