Bathsheba Demuth: FLOATING COAST

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 7:00pm
The Lingonberry event space


Dragonfly Books welcomes Decorah native Bathsheba Demuth for an author talk featuring her new book, Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait (W.W. Norton & Company 2019). Demuth will talk about writing her book and sign books on Tuesday, October 29th at 7:00 p.m. at The Lingonberry event space, 218 W. Water St.

Along the Bering Strait, through the territories of the Inupiat and Yupik in Alaska, and the Yupik and Chukchi in Russia, Bathsheba Demuth explores an ecosystem that has long sustained human beings. Yet when Americans and Europeans arrived, the area became the site of an experiment and the modern ideologies of production and consumption, capitalism and communism were subject to the pressures of arctic scarcity.
Demuth draws a vivid portrait of the sweeping effects of turning ecological wealth into economic growth and state power over the past century and a half. More urgent in a warming climate and as we seek new economic ideas for a post-industrial age, Floating Coast delivers warnings and poses provocative questions about human desires and needs in relation to environmental sustainability.

Bathsheba Demuth grew up in Decorah where her mother Laura still lives. Demuth is an environmental historian at Brown University, specializing in the United States and Russia, and in the history of energy and past climates. Her interest in northern environments and cultures began when she was 18 and moved north of the Arctic Circle in the Yukon. For over two years, Demuth mushed huskies, hunted caribou, fished for salmon, tracked bears, and otherwise learned to survive in the taiga and tundra. In the years since, she has lived in and studied Arctic communities across Eurasia and North America. From the archive to the dog sled, she is interested in how the histories of people, ideas, places, and non-human species intersect.

Everyone is invited to join Dragonfly Books for this free event on Tuesday, October 29th at 7:00 p.m. This event will be held at The Lingonberry event space, one block west of the bookstore at 218 W Water St. If you can't attend but would like a book, please call Dragonfly Books at 563-382-4275 to reserve a copy and have it autographed for you.

This event is sponsored by Dragonfly Books and is free and open to the public. To learn more about this and other events at Dragonfly Books, please visit, or contact us at or 563-382-4275.

Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393635164
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 20th, 2019

A Best Book of the Year as chosen by Nature, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal.

A groundbreaking exploration of the relationship between capitalism, communism, and Arctic ecology since the dawn of the industrial age.

Event Requests

If you are interested in scheduling an event, contact our Events Coordinator using our Event Request Form.