Solid, Broken, Changing is my new young adult novel. It’s about being alive in the Anthropocene.

The Anthropocene.  Human activity disturbing the material conditions of life on Earth. Urgent, compounding consequences for humans and nonhumans. An unknowable future, filled with wild cards.  

We humans don’t know what it means to live the Anthropocene. It’s too early to tell. Meanwhile, young people everywhere are having to figure it out as they go.

Kally, aka the human antenna, sensed it coming. Planet Earth was shifting under her feet. So was her family. But she never imagined their tipping points would let go this soon–or this fast.

Now, Kally and her father are sheltering in place with strangers on an island off of Maine. As each new wave of planetary change sweeps the tiny enclave, she fears that she will never get the chance to realize her dreams.

In her urgent search for bearings, Kally discovers a surprising ally in Stuart, a champion freerunner who believes he can vault and spin beyond whatever gets in his way. But, when they pool their skills, they soon realize that no map exists for what they and the earth are becoming.

Setting out to find her way in a future that promises nothing but upheaval, Kally dares to steer by the only pole star she has left–her unbreakable creativity.

You can buy Solid, Broken, Changing in paperback or Ebook.




2/19/20

It’s in the library

Tom, one the hero-of-the-planet librarians and cataloguer at the Provincetown MA public library, is at this moment cataloguing and shelving copies of Solid, Broken, Changing in the Young Adult and Cape Cod Collections!

Tom and the Ptown library were indispensable to the writing of the book. They gave me a great YA collection to research and access to millions of books from universities and public libraries through the MA Commonwealth Catalogue. Plus, those evening screenings of classic and offbeat movies made for perfect breaks from editing.

It couldn’t have been a more perfect day to drop off the copies.

Provincetown has one of the best public libraries in the nation at a time when we need them more than ever. It’s a center of the community with free year-round public programming is a lifeblood of the town.

I’m beyond honored to have the book on their shelves.


2/20/20

Writing Solid, Broken, Changing

IMG_0487photo by smudge studio, from Conveyance 

Solid, Broken, Changing was inspired by 15 years of collaborative art-making with Jamie Kruse, as smudge studio.

When I first started writing the book, I saw it as a way to give voice to smudge’s lived experiences of field-researching and responding to the Anthropocene as artists. The book was in rough outline form seven years ago, when journalists first began to explain the word “Anthropocene” to their readers. Anthropocene events ramified. And as they did, the book project felt more urgent and relevant. I was editing its print proof when Greta Thunberg crossed the Atlantic and as the 2019-20 fires raged in Australia. And now, Solid, Broken, Changing feels less like a fiction and more like an artifact of the contemporary moment.

Staging a story about living the Anthropocene on the threshold of adulthood felt appropriate. It’s a time when self and self-in-the-world undergo radical transformations. The ways we humans envision the future as we cross the threshold into adulthood trigger outcomes that are long term, and far from knowable.

Like smudge’s ongoing projects, Solid, Broken, Changing connects the intimacy of daily experience to the vast, generative forces of deep time and geological change.

As each new day turns the world and the future more strange and uncertain, Kally and her unexpected ally, Stuart, dare to confront the fact that they are enmeshed with, and in, the Anthropocene. It is a courageous, generative act—even if it doesn’t always feel that way. New realizations about the immensity of the changes taking place come fast and furious, and Kally and Stuart are buffeted by their emotional force. Growing new skills and inventively adapting old ones, they dead reckon into undreamt of futures that are suddenly theirs.

Ways of meeting and living the Anthropocene; emotional resiliency in the wake of massive change; dangers, challenges and wonders of co-existence; what it means to realize that we are of the Anthropocene and it is of us—these are several of the contemporary conditions of daily life that Solid, Broken, Changing explores through narrative fiction.