Excerpt from Heday Press:
Along California’s 1,200-mile coastline, the overheated Pacific Ocean is rising and pressing in, imperiling both wildlife and the maritime towns and cities that 27 million people call home. In California Against the Sea, Los Angeles Times coastal reporter Rosanna Xia asks: As climate chaos threatens the places we love so fiercely, will we finally grasp our collective capacity for change?
Xia, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, investigates the impacts of engineered landscapes, the market pressures of development, and the ecological activism and political scrimmages that have carved our contemporary coastline—and foretell even greater changes to our shores. From the beaches of the Mexican border up to the sheer-cliffed North Coast, the voices of Indigenous leaders, community activists, small-town mayors, urban engineers, and tenacious environmental scientists commingle. Together, they chronicle the challenges and urgency of forging a climate-wise future. Xia’s investigation takes us to Imperial Beach, Los Angeles, Pacifica, Marin City, San Francisco, and beyond, weighing the rivaling arguments, agreements, compromises, and visions governing the State of California’s commitment to a coast for all. Through graceful reportage, she charts how the decisions we make today will determine where we go tomorrow: headlong into natural disaster, or toward an equitable refashioning of coastal stewardship.
“This book should be required reading for Californians—and all Americans. The fate of one state’s rising coastline, and what it portends for our future, will affect us all. Exquisite and wrenching, Rosanna Xia has written an essential book that shows us what we stand to lose.”——Lizzie Johnson, author of Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire
“Just as the coast defines the liminal world between land and sea, so too does Rosanna Xia’s remarkable book exist in the overlap between development and erosion, between geological forces and human desire, between our ambitious past and our tenuous future. It’s viscerally urgent, thoroughly reported, and compellingly written—a must-read for our uncertain times.”—Ed Yong, author of An Immense World
“Fans of Xia’s work for the L.A. Times will recognize her virtuosic blend of propulsive boots-on-the-ground storytelling, explanatory reporting, and genuine curiosity and love for place. A profound and timely exploration of humanity’s various and shifting relationships to coastlines and the forces that shape them by one of the great environmental reporters working today.”—Lisa Wells, author of Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World
“Xia’s prophetic and perceptive book reveals a California coastline denied by centuries of settlers more intent on dreaming than facing the unsteady reality of the living ocean’s edge. California Against the Sea is the invitation we need today to enter a future where we learn to work with nature instead of against it. Xia’s message should be heeded everywhere ocean meets land.”—Meera Subramanian, author of A River Runs Again: India’s Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka
The book is available for pre-order and is scheduled to be shipped September 26, 2023.
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