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      The Dreamt Land: A Book Lecture by Mark Arax in Davis


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      November 18, 2019

      Monday   4:00 PM

      California Avenue
      Davis, California 95616

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      The Dreamt Land: A Book Lecture by Mark Arax

      Join Mark Arax as he discusses his latest book, The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California Reception to follow the event, light refreshments will be served.  About the Dreamt Land Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers, a writer with deep ties to the land who has watched the battles over water intensify even as California lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land, he travels the state to explore the oneof-a-kind distribution system, built in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, that is straining to keep up with California’s relentless growth. Arax’s heartfelt, beautifully written book is about the land and the people who have worked it——from gold miners to wheat ranchers to small fruit farmers and today’s Big Ag. Since the beginning, Californians have redirected rivers, drilled ever-deeper wells and built higher dams, pushing the water supply past its limit. The Dreamt Land weaves reportage, history and memoir to confront the “Golden State” myth in riveting fashion. No other chronicler of the West has so deeply delved into the empires of agriculture that drink so much of the water. The nation’s biggest farmers——the nut king, grape king and citrus queen—tell their story here for the first time. This is a tale of politics and hubris in the arid West, of imported workers left behind in the sun and the fatigued earth that is made to give more even while it keeps sinking. But when drought turns to flood once again, all is forgotten as the farmers plant more nuts and the developers build more houses. Arax, the native son, is persistent and tough as he treks from desert to delta, mountain to valley. What he f inds is hard earned, awe-inspiring, tragic and revelatory. In the end, his compassion for the land becomes an elegy to the dream that created California and now threatens to undo it About Mark Arax Mark Arax is an author and journalist whose writings on California and the West have received numerous awards for literary nonfiction. He is a former staffer at the Los Angeles Times, and his work has appeared in The New York Times and The California Sunday Magazine. His books include a memoir of his father’s murder, a collection of essays about the West and the best-selling The King of California, which won a California Book Award and the William Saroyan Prize from Stanford University, and was named a top book of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He lives in Fresno, California. This event is being hosted by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences and the John Muir Institute of the Environment.  The Center for Watershed Sciences is California's leading academic institute in water management. As an interdisciplinary research unit of the John Muir Institute of the Environment, the Center combines the talents of biologists, geologists, engineers, economists, legal scholars and others to help understand and solve California's complex water problems. The Center conducts problem-solving research and syntheses on restoration and water resource management, mainly in California, but also nationally and internationally. The Center's research typically involves teams drawn from the physical, biological, social and engineering sciences, often in partnership with agencies and conservation groups.

      Categories: Education | Literary & Books | Science

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