2023 Land Trust Learning Series

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Elizabeth Rush joins us to celebrate the release of her new book, The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth. Books will be available for sale beginning at 6 pm.

Pulitzer-prize nominated author Elizabeth Rush tackles three daunting topics in her new book: Antarctica, climate change and motherhood.

Author Robin Wall Kimmerer describes The Quickening as “an immersive journey through both exterior and interior landscapes, deftly crossing the boundaries between the frigid Antarctic and the warm heart.”

In 2019, fifty-seven scientists and crew set out onboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer. Their destination: Thwaites Glacier. Their goal: to learn as much as possible about this mysterious place, never before visited by humans, and believed to be both rapidly deteriorating and capable of making a catastrophic impact on global sea-level rise.

In The Quickening, Elizabeth Rush documents their voyage, offering the sublime—seeing an iceberg for the first time; the staggering waves of the Drake Passage; the torqued, unfamiliar contours of Thwaites—alongside the workaday moments of this groundbreaking expedition. A ping-pong tournament at sea. Long hours in the lab. All the effort that goes into caring for and protecting human life in a place that is inhospitable to it. Along the way, she takes readers on a personal journey around a more intimate question: What does it mean to bring a child into the world at this time of radical change?

What emerges is a new kind of Antarctica story, one preoccupied not with flag planting but with the collective and challenging work of imagining a better future. With understanding the language of a continent where humans have only been present for two centuries. With the contributions and concerns of women, who were largely excluded from voyages until the last few decades, and of crew members of color, whose labor has often gone unrecognized. The Quickening teems with their voices—with the colorful stories and personalities of Rush’s shipmates—in a thrilling chorus.

About Elizabeth Rush

Elizabeth Rush is the author of The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth and Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Rush’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications from the New York Times to Orion and Guernica.

She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Howard Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Metcalf Institute. She lives with her husband and son in Providence, Rhode Island, where she teaches creative nonfiction at Brown University.

2023 Learning Series Presenting Sponsor


Elizabeth Rush Speaker Sponsor

Friends of the Barrington Public Library


Leadership Sponsors

The Cicione Family and Brickyard Wine

Partner Sponsor

Community Sponsors

East Bay Oyster Bar

Jaffe Orthodontics

Steve Primiano’s Custom Window Treatments

Charles E. Millard, Inc. General Contractors


We are grateful to the Barrington Pubic Library for hosting this event