To illustrate the realities of these risks, Vollmann recounts visits made at significant personal risk over the course of seven years to the contaminated no-go zones and ghost towns of Fukushima, Japan. Equipped first only with a dosimeter and then with a scintillation counter, he measured radiation and interviewed tsunami victims, nuclear evacuees, anti-nuclear organizers, and pro-nuclear utility workers. Vollmann shares the powerful and sobering object lesson of Fukushima—and brings us into a broader conversation on the factors and human actions that will define our relationship with the environment for generations to come.
William T. Vollmann is the author of ten novels, including Europe Central, which won the National Book Award. He has also written four collections of stories, including The Atlas, which won the PEN Center USA West Award for Fiction. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His journalism and fiction have been published in The New Yorker, Harpers, Esquire, Granta, and many other publications.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle and Phinney Neighborhood Association as part of the Arts & Culture series.