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  • NYS Writers Institute

Video interview: Christopher Shaw

"Chris Shaw thinks and writes about subjects I love -- history, epistemology, culture, consciousness, the natural world -- with originality, intelligence, and vision. I'd read his take on just about anything. He's the guy you go to when you want to figure out how to live a life that matters."

Carolyn Kormann, staff climate reporter, The New Yorker

A native of Schenectady, Chris is former editor of Adirondack Life magazine and producer and commentator of the "Northern Voices" program on North Country Public Radio. He taught creative writing at Middlebury College, where he co-directed with Bill McKibben the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism.

His books include Sacred Monkey River: A Canoe Trip with the Gods, about paddling in the Usumacinta River in Guatemala, and more recently, The Power Line.

From the publisher:

In the nineteen-eighties, an amateur historian of the Adirondacks recorded the fading memories of an aging woodsman and bootlegger, searching for details about the old-time fiddle player and rustic builder Fran Germaine. The woodsman's wild tales faded into dust more than once until the discovery of a diary kept by Rosalyn Orloff, the socialist writer and political theorist of the twenties and thirties, and reputed lover of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung.

The Power Line travels from the villages of Lake Aurora and Saranac Lake, New York in the years following World War I, when Prohibition and tuberculosis kept them hopping, to Montreal and a thrilling escape by canoe across the St. Lawrence River in the dead of winter. It connects lives and periods often overlooked in the history of northern New York and the Canadian borderlands, shining light on the continuity of a disputed and murky past with a living and recognizable present."

We support local, independent booksellers. Sacred Monkey River and Power Line are available at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.

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