Third Place Books welcomes local author Lisa Wells to our Seward Park store for the paperback launch of Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World, a finalist for the 2022 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.
Copies of Believers will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!
for this in-person event
"An essential document of our time.” —Charles D'Ambrosio, author of Loitering
We find ourselves at the end of the world. How, then, shall we live?
Like most of us, Lisa Wells has spent years overwhelmed by increasingly urgent news of climate change on an apocalyptic scale. She embarked on a pilgrimage, seeking wisdom and paths to action from outliers and visionaries, pragmatists and iconoclasts.
Wells meets an itinerant gardener and misanthrope leading a group of nomadic activists in rewilding the American desert. She finds a group of environmentalist Christians practicing “watershed discipleship” in New Mexico and another group in Philadelphia turning the tools of violence into tools of farming—guns into ploughshares. She watches the world’s greatest tracker teach others how to read a trail, and visits botanists who are restoring land overrun by invasive species and destructive humans. She talks with survivors of catastrophic wildfires in California as they try to rebuild in ways that acknowledge the fires will come again.
Through this miraculous commingling of acceptance and activism, this focus on seeing clearly and moving forward, Believers is able to take the devastating news facing us all, every day, and inject a possibility of real hope.
"A thought-provoking and heady mix of memoir, journalism and philosophy. . . Wells seeks out a variety of people whose radical responses to the climate crisis challenge and defy the norm.
"So few books now feel like they have anything to do with the future, or anything consequential to do with the present, and in the rare event that they do, they only compound my sense of constant dread. Lisa Wells's Believers is a precious, merciful exception, a work that welds hope and despair, written by a narrator whom I instantly trusted. It made enduring feel more bearable."
—Charlotte Shane, Bookforum
"Believers . . . grapples with the question of how to go forward in the shadow of endings -- not only our own, but the endings of species and ecosystems, of cultures and of language . . . The question is not of what we face but how we can face it bravely and creatively."
—Lydia Millet, Los Angeles Times
Lisa Wells is the author, most recently, of Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World, a finalist for the 2022 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Her debut collection of poetry, The Fix, won the Iowa Poetry Prize. Wells lives in south Seattle with the poet Joshua Marie Wilkinson and their son Jude. She received an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, the University of Arizona, and Yale-NUS where she was a Writing Fellow in Residence. (Photo credit: Jaclyn Campanaro)
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