Mark Sundeen - Park City
Sep 23, 2017, 5:30 pm
The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America
VenuePark City Library
1255 Park Avenue
Park City , UT 84060
Author Mark Sundeen visits the Park City Public Library to discuss his new book, The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America.
In the dead of winter, a former marine biologist and his pregnant wife, a classically trained opera singer, disembark an Amtrak train in La Plata, Missouri, assemble two bikes, and pedal off into the night, bound for a homestead they’ve purchased, sight unseen. Meanwhile, a horticulturist, heir to the Great Migration that brought masses of African Americans to Detroit, and her husband, a product of the white flight from it, have turned to urban farming to revitalize the blighted city they both love. And near Missoula, Montana, a couple who have been at the forefront of organic farming for decades navigate what it means to live and raise a family ethically.
More than ever, we seem to be yearning for “the simple life.” We want to reconnect with the land and the environment in a deeper way that can assuage modern ills. We seek a livelihood that exercises body and mind without taking a toll on the planet. We long to nurture spirit and community instead of distracting and isolating ourselves with electronics. We even dream utopian dreams of discovering ways of life that model for others answers to the question of how we can live more sustainably, peacefully, authentically. A work of immersive journalism steeped in a distinctively American social history and sparked by a personal quest, The Unsettlers traces the search for the simple life not only through the stories of those three very different couples, but through the visionaries, ascetics, and artists that inspired each of them to walk away from the life they knew in order to find (or create) a better existence. Captivating and clear-eyed, it dares us to imagine what a sustainable, ethical, authentic future might actually look like.
Mark Sundeen is the author of The Unsettlers, The Man Who Quit Money, The Making of Toro, and Car Camping. He has won fellowships from the Macdowell Colony, the Montana Arts Council and the Utah Arts Council. A correspondent for Outside Magazine, his work has appeared in the New York Times, The Believer, National Geographic Adventure, and McSweeneys.
This event is made possible with the support of Utah Humanities and the Park City Public Library.