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Join us in person on Tuesday, January 24 at 7 PM as Stephen Markley presents his new novel, The Deluge. His conversation partner for this event is Smith Associate Professor Camille Washington-Ottombre. The Deluge is the January selection of the Odyssey First Editions Club.
From the bestselling author of Ohio, a masterful American epic charting a near future approaching collapse and a nascent but strengthening solidarity.
In the first decades of the 21st century, the world is convulsing, its governments mired in gridlock while a patient but unrelenting ecological crisis looms. America is in upheaval, battered by violent weather and extreme politics. In California in 2013, Tony Pietrus, a scientist studying deposits of undersea methane, receives a death threat. His fate will become bound to a stunning cast of characters—a broken drug addict, a star advertising strategist, a neurodivergent mathematician, a cunning eco-terrorist, an actor turned religious zealot, and a brazen young activist named Kate Morris, who, in the mountains of Wyoming, begins a project that will alter the course of the decades to come.
From the Gulf Coast to Los Angeles, the Midwest to Washington, DC, their intertwined odysseys unfold against a stark backdrop of accelerating chaos as they summon courage, galvanize a nation, fall to their own fear, and find wild hope in the face of staggering odds. As their stories hurtle toward a spectacular climax, each faces a reckoning: what will they sacrifice to salvage humanity’s last chance at a future? A singular achievement, The Deluge is a once-in-a-generation novel that meets the moment as few works of art ever have.
Stephen Markley is the acclaimed author of Ohio, which NPR called a “masterpiece.” A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Markley’s other books include the memoir Publish This Book and the travelogue Tales of Iceland.
Camille Washington-Ottombre is Associate Professor of Environmental Science & Policy at Smith College. Her teaching and research interests revolve around adaptation to climate change and environmental justice. In her research, Washington-Ottombre explores how small communities in sub-Saharan Africa and on U.S. campuses respond to climate change. In research funded by the National Science Foundation and the Social Science Research Council, she researched the adaptive capacity of small rural communities in Kenya and Zambia. More recently, Washington-Ottombre has been studying the role of institutions of higher education as agents of change by analyzing the development and the impact of measures relating to campus sustainability.
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