About a Mountain by John D'Agata

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"Unquestionably art, a breathtaking piece of writing."—Charles Bock, The New York Times Book Review

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 nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain; the result is a startling portrait that compels a reexamination of the future of human life.

About John D'Agata

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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. Jim Fingal is now a software engineer and writer in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Published February 7, 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company. 237 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for About a Mountain

Kirkus Reviews

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As his sense of geography indicates, he’s a stranger ’round these parts, though he adopts a local cause célèbre in the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste controversy and makes himself a little more at home exploring it.

Dec 15 2009 | Read Full Review of About a Mountain

The New York Times

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The mountain that John D’Agata is ostensibly concerned with in his slim but powerful new book, “About a Mountain,” is Yucca Mountain, located approximately 100 miles north of Las Vegas.

Feb 26 2010 | Read Full Review of About a Mountain

The Washington Post

This review of John D'Agata's book "About a Mountain," which centers on the federal proposal to store nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada, incorrectly said that a supposedly corrosion-proof alloy developed to contain the waste dissolved in water within minutes.

Mar 28 2010 | Read Full Review of About a Mountain

Review (Barnes & Noble)

The best, and most surreal, parts of About a Mountain concern the design of a warning sign to keep people away from the Yucca Mountain site until the radiation subsides to safe levels: a process which was officially estimated to take ten thousand years, although it would probably have been more l...

Mar 10 2010 | Read Full Review of About a Mountain

Book Forum

D'Agata tells his story with such poise and precision that it not only reveals the fragility of words and human life—it also possesses the power to pull us in and change the ways we think.

Mar 08 2010 | Read Full Review of About a Mountain

Tottenville Review

“I think that what I believe is that the mountain is where we are, it’s what we now have come to—a place that we have studied more than any other parcel of land in the world—and yet it still remains unknown, revealing only the fragility of our capacity to know.” D’Agata’s take on Yucca Mountain i...

Jan 21 2013 | Read Full Review of About a Mountain

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