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Chelsea Green Blog

Are You There, Oprah? It’s Me, Erin

Dear Oprah, First of all, I hope you don’t mind me addressing you this way. If the title of my letter reminds you of Judy Blume’s classic Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, that’s only because, in terms of the bookselling community, you really are no less than a god. And I mean that in an Old Testament, terrifying and power-wielding kind of way. Secondly, did you get the book I sent? Of course, there have been a few, but I’m referring to the most recent one, An Unreasonable Woman by Diane Wilson. It came in a yellow Jiffy padded envelope with UPS Tracking number IZ 040 871 03 4495 6004. Have you seen it? I sent it out last Tuesday, attention: you. In case you missed the package, or in the event it was snatched up by a rival book club host lingering outside your mailroom, here’s a brief reminder of its contents: Diane Wilson was a fourth generation shrimper and a mother of five when she learned that her tiny county was rated among the ten most toxic in the US. At that point she began what would turn into a heroic, 12-year campaign against the toxic emissions from Formosa and Dow Chemical that were poisoning her community with cancer and destroying the bay she counted on for a living. Her new book, An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas, is the wild story of her fight. The package I sent included the book, and might have also included a fashionable black and hot pink button that reads: An Unreasonable Woman. Diane’s book is out this fall and had been getting rave reviews, but now a trespassing charge from one of her political actions is threatening to put Diane in prison for 4 to 5 months! Oprah, I know you wanted to have Diane on your show—mainly because she had a dream about being on the program. But I’m writing today to warn you that if you don’t hurry up and call us, she’s going to have to go to prison and we’ll both be screwed! You’re probably thinking “What can I, O, possibly do about this?” Well, there are several easy options. The first and most preferable is to call me immediately at 802-295-6300 x106 and arrange to meet with Diane Wilson, probably while wearing your “Unreasonable Woman” button and holding a well-combed copy of her book. Another option is for you to personally visit Diane in prison. This wouldn’t be quite as good, since I’m told you would not be allowed to wear a button inside the facility. Third, even if you miss Diane entirely, you can still promote her book on your show! It would also really help if you could carry a copy everywhere you go. Any of these options would be preferable to the course your producers seem to be pursuing right now, which is to ignore Diane Wilson entirely. Please, Oprah, don’t let me down! Sincerely, Erin L Hanrahan PS. If you want to talk to Oxygen about buying Diane’s film option from Lifetime and producing a movie, that would be OK, too.


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More..

Author David Stroh: First Steps to Becoming a Systems Thinker

Systems thinking is often seen as something relegated to scientific and business analysis – economics, resource depletion, and climate. However, Systems Thinking for Social Change focuses on how to use systems thinking to make breakthrough progress on intransigent social problems. We asked author David Stroh how this approach can make an impact, and how readers […] Read More..

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More..

Let’s Make Bernie Sanders a Bestseller!

As the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders continues to climb in the polls, crushing online fundraising records and frustrating party insiders and pundits along the way, we’re looking to put Bernie’s message on bestseller lists everywhere in time for the national debates this fall!With the second Democratic debate to be held on November 14th in Des Moines, it’s […] Read More..
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