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Amity and Prosperity

One Family and the Fracturing of America - Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction 2019
  • Author
    • Eliza Griswold
Regular price £12.99
Regular price Sale price £12.99
Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

'At heart a David and Goliath story fit for the movies ... [A] valuable, discomforting book' The New York Times Book Review

Seven years in the making, Amity and Prosperity tells the story of the energy boom's impact on a small town at the edge of Appalachia and of one woman's transformation from a struggling single parent to an unlikely activist.

Stacey Haney is a local nurse working hard to raise two kids and keep up her small farm when the fracking boom comes to her hometown of Amity, Pennsylvania. Intrigued by reports of lucrative natural gas leases in her neighbours' mailboxes, she strikes a deal with a Texas-based energy company. Soon trucks begin rumbling past her small farm, a fenced-off drill site rises on an adjacent hilltop, and domestic animals and pets start to die. When mysterious sicknesses begin to afflict her children, she appeals to the company for help. Its representatives insist that nothing is wrong.

Alarmed by her children's illnesses, Haney joins with neighbours and a committed husband-and-wife legal team to investigate what's really in the water and air. Against local opposition, Haney and her allies doggedly pursue their case in court and begin to expose the damage that's being done to the land her family has lived on for centuries.

Drawing on seven years of immersive reporting, prizewinning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold reveals what happens when an imperilled town faces a crisis of values, and a family wagers everything on an improbable quest for justice.
  • Published: Jun 04 2019
  • Pages: 336
  • 196 x 130mm
  • ISBN: 9781472268723

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Press Reviews

  • George Packer

    author of The Unwinding, Winner of the National Book Award
    A morally complex and beautifully-written story of Appalachia, of family, of resources we all use. It's about what binds and tears apart a community and a country
  • Katherine Boo

    author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Winner of the National Book Award
    Riveting and outraging. An essential account of corporate wrongdoing, regulatory collusion and citizen resistance in an unequal age
  • Erika Howsare

    Los Angeles Review of Books
    Expertly constructed . . . [Griswold's] relentless, measured narration helped me understand my own blind spots - that sadness over ruined views is a kind of class privilege, the outgrowth of a particular stance toward the land . . . Thoroughly reported and tightly paced, Amity and Prosperity is an essential document of the region's latest go-round with the riches underfoot
  • JoAnn Wypijewski

    The New York Times Book Review
    Amity and Prosperity is at heart a David and Goliath story fit for the movies. It has everything but a happy ending: bucolic setting concealing fortune and danger; poor but proud locals who've endured sequential boom bust cycles of resource extraction . . . tough, reluctant victim-heroes . . . and a courtroom drama, as a tenacious husband-wife legal team takes on the industry and the state . . . [a] valuable, discomforting book
  • Byron Borger

    Pittsburg Post-Gazette
    Riveting . . . Page-turner . . . If J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy famously portrayed the Rust Belt ethos of Appalachian transplants into southern Ohio, Amity and Prosperity tells with vivid detail the contours of daily life in Washington and Greene counties . . . Amity and Prosperity becomes not only a glimpse into postindustrial small towns and the environmental consequences of fracking, but also a legal thriller worthy of any novel by John Grisham
  • Meara Sharma

    The Washington Post
    In her new book, Amity and Prosperity, journalist Eliza Griswold provides a deeply human counterpoint to this political fray. She takes on the decidedly fraught issue of energy extraction through a vivid, compassionate portrait of one family living in the long shadow of industry . . . Griswold chronicles these escalating horrors with disarming intimacy
  • The National Book Review
    Powerful and deeply humane
  • Jennifer Szalai

    The New York Times
    Her sensitive and judicious new book, Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America, is neither an outraged sermon delivered from a populist soapbox nor a pinched, professorial lecture. Griswold, a journalist and a poet, paid close attention to a community in southwestern Pennsylvania over the course of seven years to convey its confounding experience with hydraulic fracturing . . . What Griswold depicts is a community, like the earth, cracked open . . . Parts of Amity and Prosperity read as intimately as a novel, though its insidious, slow-motion ordeal is all too real
  • BBC
    Griswold creates a complex, elegantly written portrait of Stacey and a community ambivalent about the industry they hope can bring prosperity
  • Elisabeth Egan

    Amity and Prosperity is part Erin Brockovich, part Hillbilly Elegy. You'll be inspired by [Stacey Haney, Beth Voyles and Kendra Smith] who called B.S. on what was happening around them, pointing a finger at both money-hungry businessmen and day-tripping liberals studying them like specimens. Their galvanizing activism is proof that, to help someone, first you have to listen
  • Library Journal (Starred Review)
    Memorable . . An important addition to the emerging genre of works about fracking and its environmental and human costs. This will find large audiences among concerned citizens and warrants the attention of public officials as well as fans of J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy
  • Forbes
    A compelling tale ... Griswold's latest work may be your next must-read