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Publish Date: September 2011
The Tarball Chronicles
A Journey Beyond the Oiled Pelican and Into the Heart of the Gulf Oil Spill
BY David Gessner
Beyond the oil-soaked pelican, beyond the oil-soaked beach, beyond the Deepwater Horizon oil spill entirely, there is a deeper story of sacrifice unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. Reporters and government officials focused on the smallest part of it: oil gushed into the water for 153 days, then, on September 19, 2010, the well was capped—the story was over. For David Gessner the unimaginable amount of oil spilled into the ocean was only the beginning.
In The Tarball Chronicles, Gessner eats, drinks, and talks his way into the heart of Gulf country—exploring the region’s birds, sea life, and ecosystems with the oceanographers, activists, and subsistence fishermen who call it home. Part absurdist travelogue, part manifesto, The Tarball Chronicles is overall a love song for the Gulf that asks one simple question: how much are we willing to sacrifice to keep living the way we do?
BEYOND THE BOOK
• Want to help the Gulf? Here are nearly 25 organizations working to revitalize the region’s economy and ecosystem.
• Much of the damage caused during 2012s Hurricane Sandy was predicted in The Tarball Chronicles. Learn more about the work of Orrin Pilkey, a coastal geologist who warns we may need to move away from the coast—for good.
“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 . . . that his account will be action-filled and darkly funny is pure bonus.”
—John Jeremiah Sullivan
OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR:
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] offers compelling images and vivid descriptions of the Gulf. Anyone who wanted a first-hand look at the Gulf after the news cycle ended will find it here, but this brilliant thoughtful book will leave them disquieted.”—Publishers Weekly
“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