Standing on the Atlantic side of the Florida keys, a sailor asked long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad to stick her tongue out, and report the taste. “We definitely tasted something grainy, crunchy, you know…” Nyad assumed it was salt, and told the sailor as much. She was corrected: “No. It is the Sahara dust,” she was told, sand grains that had blown from Africa clear across the ocean.
Lauren Redniss weaves Nyad’s story into her new book Thunder and Lighting, a spellbinding mix of visual art, science and history that beautifully articulates the many dimensions of weather. She uses the Saharan dust crossing the Atlantic as a means to explain global wind patterns, those that jets fly along and temper local climates. Within the section on wind alone we get Nyad alongside Herman Hesse and Raymond Chandler, a bit of Greek Mythology, and the tale of a geoengineer working to use wind to cool the Grand Mosque at Mecca.
Genre blending, time jumping and scientific speculation are all fair game here. We at Wordstock are excited to host a lunchtime conversation on nontraditional storytelling with Lauren Redniss, a joint collaboration with Tin House Books deemed “Unconventional History: Past, Present and Future.” The talk will include Luc Sante and Zach Dundas, both of whom tell unexpected stories about places and people we think we know. Later in the afternoon we will host an exciting conversation between Diana Nyad and Cheryl Strayed, where Nyad will discuss her new memoir, the chronicle of an unwavering spirit in the face of seemingly great natural barriers.
Portland Review Spring 2017 Issue Release
May 24, 2017
Portland Review celebrates its recent transition to Portland State University’s English Department with…
Discover Jazz: Literature & Music from the Harlem Renaissance
June 21, 2017
PDX Jazz is proud to present the fourth program in its Discover…
July 19, 2017
July 19, 2017
Unchaste Readers July reading curated by Jenny Forrester
2017/2018 Portland Arts & Lectures
October 12, 2017
The 33rd season of Portland Arts & Lectures features some of the…
The Moth Mainstage
December 11, 2017
The Moth returns to Portland on Monday, December 11. This extraordinary performance…