Mill Town: A Community Conversation with Kerri Arsenault

Book critic, editor, and author Kerri Arsenault will speak at an event hosted by the Lewiston Public Library on Tuesday, June 8th to discuss her bestselling and widely acclaimed nonfiction book, Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains. This free, public program will take place from 12 – 1 PM virtually via Zoom.

Kerri Arsenault grew up in Mexico, Maine, where for over 100 years, the community orbited around a paper mill that provided jobs for nearly everyone in town, including three generations of her family. She had a happy childhood, but years after he moved away, she realized the price she paid for that childhood: the mill, while providing the social and economic cohesion for the community, also contributed to its demise.

Mill Town is a book of narrative nonfiction, investigative memoir, and cultural criticism that illuminates the rise and collapse of the working-class, the hazards of loving and leaving home, and the ambiguous nature of toxics and disease with the central question: Who or what are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival?

In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews calls Mill Town a “masterful debut,” and Publisher’s Weekly describes it as a “powerful investigative memoir… about a soul-crushing portrait of a place… This moving and insightful memoir reminds readers that returning home—’the heart of human identity’—is capable of causing great joy and profound disappointment.”  Mill Town is this year’s nonfiction book for the Maine 2021 adult summer reading program, Read ME, selected by the Maine Humanities Council, in partnership with the Maine State Library.

Kerri Arsenault is a book critic, book editor at Orion magazine, and contributing editor at The Literary Hub. Her work has appeared in Freeman’s, the Boston Globe, Down East, the Paris Review Daily, the New York Review of Books, Air Mail, and the Washington Post. She received an MFA from the New School, and has served as a mentor for PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program and for Jobs for Maine Graduates.

For more information about this event, contact the LPL Adult & Teen Services desk at 513-3135 or


Jun 08 2021


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm




For Adults


Lewiston Public Library
(207) 513-3004