About a Mountain

By John D'Agata
(W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393068184, 236pp.)

Publication Date: February 2010

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Description
When John D Agata helps his mother move to Las Vegas one summer, he begins to follow a story about the federal government's plan to store high-level nuclear waste at a place called Yucca Mountain, a desert range near the city of Las Vegas. Bearing witness to the parade of scientific, cultural, and political facts that give shape to Yucca's story, D Agata keeps the six tenets of reporting in mind Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How arranging his own investigation around each vital question. Yet as the contradictions inherent in Yucca's story are revealed, D Agata's investigation turns inevitably personal. He finds himself investigating the death of a teenager who jumps off the tower of the Stratosphere Hotel, a boy whom D Agata believes he spoke with before his suicide. Here is the work of a penetrating thinker whose startling portrait of a mountain in the desert compels a reexamination of the future of human life.



About the Author
John D'Agata is the author of About a Mountain, Halls of Fame and editor of The Next American Essay and The Lost Origins of the Essay. He teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he lives.


NPR
Friday, Mar 5, 2010

When writer John D'Agata moved his mother to the suburbs of Las Vegas, he began looking at the history of the governmentâ��s plan to store nuclear waste deep in Nevada's Yucca Mountain. The resulting boo—-- About a Mountai—-- is a reporter's notebook that reads like poetry. More at NPR.org

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