For the Media
For Immediate Release
August 22, 2006
Contact: Jon-Mikel Gates at [email protected], 802-295-6300, ext. 111.
The Gripping True Story of One Woman's Fight to Save Her Town and Her Way of Life from Deadly Industrial Chemicals
Activist Diane Wilson is probably best known for her deep moral convictions and indomitable will. She spent the month of July 2006 on a water-only hunger strike demanding that U.S withdraw its troops from Iraq. After 28 days of fasting, along with the group CodePink, Diane was invited to meet with members of Iraq’s Parliament to break their fast in Aman, Jordan, and discuss the various peace plans Parliamentarians have been working on. Diane then traveled on to Lebanon to bear witness to the devastation brought by the escalating conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. She is now back in Texas where she continues her fight for environmental justice and peace.
Diane’s story started far from the war-torn Middle East, though. She is a fourth-generation shrimp-boat captain from Seadrift, Texas, who took on big industrial polluters and won. Her book An Unreasonable Woman—available for the first time in paperback in October—tells the tale of her journey from “nobody particular” to a leader in the fight to clean up industry and hold it accountable for the devastation it causes.
Fired by her outrage at the injustice and corruption that were killing her people and her bays, Wilson launches a campaign against a multi-billion-dollar corporation that had been covering up spills, silencing workers, flouting the EPA and dumping lethal ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride into the bays along her beloved Texas Gulf Coast.
She takes her fight to the courts, to the gates of the chemical plant and to the halls of power in Austin and Houston. Along the way she meets with scorn, bribery and death threats. Finally, Wilson realizes that she must break the law to win justice.
An Unreasonable Woman is a page-turner to rival the stories of Erin Brockovich or Karen Silkwood: “ordinary” women who make an extraordinary difference. Wilson’s vivid South Texas dialogue is captivating; her dazzling prose evokes an American magical realism, replete with dreams and prophesies. Wilson is another in a line of untrained southern writers whose ear for the cadences of words and deep understanding of her people and birthplace entrance readers with their vibrant honesty.
Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation commercial fisherwoman and mother of five has been an activist since 1989. Since the publication of An Unreasonable Woman in 2005, her story has been featured in news media around the world, including The Washington Post, The Diane Rehm Show, PBS Now, Democracy Now! and The Bob Edwards Show. Her awards include: AlterNet’s Eco Hero Award, National Fisherman Magazine Award, Mother Jones’s Hell Raiser of the Month, CodePink Woman of the Year, Lois Gibbs’ Environmental Lifetime Award, Louisiana Environmental Action (LEAN) Environmental Award, Giraffe Project’s Jenifer Altman Award, and the Bioneers Award.
Book available October 2006 | Paperback | $18 | 1-933392-27-4 | 6 x 9 | 400 pages