The message below, which is forwarded from the Fairbanks Museum, may be of interest if you have not already seen it.

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Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 15:07:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Rachel Carson Program at Fairbanks Museum
From: Fairbanks Museum <[log in to unmask]>

On Friday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. writers Nat Tripp and Amy Ehrlich will present a talk about the life and writing of Rachel Carson. Ehrlich is the author of Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson, a children's book recently published by Harcourt Inc. Nat Tripp has been writing books and articles and producing programs on science and the environment for over 30 years.

As a child Rachel Carson loved nature and writing. She was fascinated by the natural world, particularly the sea. Though she wanted to be a writer, in college in the 1920s she was inspired by a science teacher to study biology. Her options as a scientist were limited by women's options at the time and she became an editor at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries. Then she began writing books about science and nature with a broad popular appeal. The Sea Around Us was published in its entirety in The New Yorker and became a bestseller in the 1950s. But it was her last book, Silent Spring, written in the midst of her personal struggle against cancer and dealing with the impact of pesticides on wildlife, that inspired the environmental movement in America and secured Rachel Carson's reputation for all time.

The program will begin with Tripp's personal perspective on the 1950s, an era in which the use of DDT and other agricultural pesticides was widespread following the development of many of these chemicals during World War II. Tripp says, "I became an activist at the age of eleven when my pet turtle was killed by DDT. Nearly all the birds and turtles and snakes and frogs in the county were killed. I was an eyewitness to the silent spring."

Ehrlich will continue by talking about how she came to write the book and what she discovered about Rachel Carson during her research. "Though of course I knew of Silent Spring, I had never actually read Rachel's work. When my editor asked me if I'd be interested in doing a biography of her, I began a process of discovery. She is such an eloquent writer and her feeling for nature is extraordinary. I came to have tremendous admiration for her. Rachel had a difficult life and she was a heroic person, yet she was utterly unassuming. It took great courage for her to expose the environmental impact of DDT and other pesticides and to stand up to the chemical companies and their representatives in Congress, but she never wavered in her purpose. I feel she should be much more widely known than she is, and that was one of the reasons I was so eager to write her biography."

To illustrate her talk and help introduce people to Rachel Carson's work, Ehrlich will read from a number of her books, including The Sea Around Us and Silent Spring, and she will also read from her published letters.

Amy Ehrlich is the author of many picture books and novels for children and young adults, including Leo, Zack, and Emmie, and Joyride. She is also the editor of When I Was Your Age: Original Stories About Growing Up and When I Was Your Age, Volume 2. She lives in northern Vermont and is at work on a biography of Willa Cather. Nat Tripp is the author of the memoir Father Soldier Son, a National Book Award finalist. He lives in northeastern Vermont with his wife Reeve and a lot of animals.

The program is $5 and free to Museum members. For more information about this or other Fairbanks Museum programs, call 802-748-2372.

Lauren Moye, Dir. of External Relations
Fairbanks Museum
1302 Main St.
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
ph: 802-748-2372
FAX: 802-748-1893

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Kristin Peterson-Ishaq
Coordinator, Center for Research on Vermont
     and Vermont Studies Program
University of Vermont
589 Main Street, Nolin House
Burlington, VT  05401-3439
Email: <[log in to unmask]>; Telephone: 802-656-8363
Fax: 802-656-8518; Web site: <www.uvm.edu/~crvt>