Judith Nies speaks about “Unreal City” – CANCELLED
Location: Main Library
Audience: Adults, Seniors
This event has been cancelled until further notice.
UNREAL CITY explores the forces that have enabled the growth of the desert city of Las Vegas ––forty million visitors a year to the Mohave Desert ––and what that city can teach us in an era of climate change. Tourists to Las Vegas may be mesmerized by the dancing fountains at Bellagio hotel-casino, but they don’t ask where the water comes from, nor do they know the famous hotel is owned by the Middle Eastern country of Qatar. They don’t ask how they get six months of air conditioning nor do they know that Nevada Power, owned by Warren Buffet, buys coal-fired energy from an Indian reservation 300 miles away. They don’t see a city with the nation’s highest rates of foreclosure, unemployment, and suicide. They don’t see the astonishing drop in the water level of Lake Mead from which Las Vegas gets 90 percent of its water. Unreal City explores how and why resources have been taken from America’s native peoples, who pays for it, and how this no-tax-city will affect those of us in the East in an era of accelerating climate change.
About the author
JUDITH NIES is the award-winning author of three nonfiction books—The Girl I Left Behind: A Personal History of the 1960s; Nine Women: Portraits from the American Radical Tradition; and Native American History: A Chronology, which won the Phi Alpha Theta prize in international history. Her earlier career included working as a congressional speechwriter in Congress, under secretary of Environmental Affairs for the state of Massachusetts, and as a journalist. Her journalism, book reviews, and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Orion, Harvard Review, Women’s Review of Books, and American Voice. She teaches writing at Massachusetts College of Art and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her current activities include writing a play and doing the fundraising to turn UNREAL CITY into a documentary.
About the Series » Brown Bag Lecture Series
Portland Public Library’s Brown Bag Lecture Series features bi-weekly reading and question-and-answer sessions with authors from around the nation as well as those who hail from right here in Maine.
All Brown Bag Lectures are free to the public (unless specifically noted as a fundraiser). Because they usually take place over the lunch hour, guests are encouraged to bring their lunch; coffee provided by Coffee By Design. Special thanks to our Brown Bag Lecture Series coffee sponsor, Coffee by Design, and welcome to our new refreshment sponsor, Whole Foods. Books on sale at each lecture courtesy of Longfellow Books, who generously donates a portion of the proceeds to the Portland Public Library. Questions about our Brown Bag Lectures or to be added to our weekly calendar e-mail, please send us an e-mail.
Want to hear one from the past? Maine Humanities Council has come and recorded a few of our talks, listen here!