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Home Events Art Author History Presentation Shopping Sue Leaf’s IMPERMANENCE; in conversation with Kiara Jorgenson


Content Bookstore
314 Division St., Northfield, MN


Mar 07 2024


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Sue Leaf’s IMPERMANENCE; in conversation with Kiara Jorgenson

Content is delighted to invite you to a reading with Sue Leaf from her new book IMPERMANENCE: LIFE AND LOSS ON SUPERIOR’S SOUTH SHORE. Join us on Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 7 pm, where Sue will be in conversation with St. Olaf professor, Kiara Jorgenson.

A personal journey through the ever-changing natural and cultural history of Lake Superior’s South Shore

For Leaf, what began as a bicycling adventure on the coast of Lake Superior in 1977 turned into a lifelong connection with the area, and her experience, not least as owner of a rustic cabin on a rapidly eroding lakeside cliff, imbues these essays with a passionate sense of place and an abiding curiosity about its past and precarious future. As waves slowly consume the shoreline where her family has spent countless summers, Leaf is forced to confront the complexity of loving a place that all too quickly is being reclaimed by the great lake.

IMPERMANENCE is a journey through the South Shore’s story, from the early days of the Anishinaabe and fur traders through the heyday of commercial fishing, lumber camps, and copper mining on the Keweenaw Peninsula to the awakening of the Northland to the perils and consequences of plundering its natural splendor. Noting the geological, ecological, and cultural features of each stop on her tour along the South Shore, Leaf writes about the restoration of the heavily touristed Apostle Islands National Lakeshore to its pristine conditions, even as Lake Superior maintains its allure for ice fishers, kayakers, and long-distance swimmers. She describes efforts to protect the endangered piping plover and to preserve the diverse sand dunes on the Michigan coast, and she observes the slough that supports rare intact wild rice beds central to Anishinaabe culture.

Part memoir, part travelogue, part natural and cultural history, Leaf’s love letter to Lake Superior’s South Shore is an invitation to see this liminal world in all its seasons and guises, to appreciate its ageless, ever-changing wonders and intimate charms.

Sue Leaf is author of THE BULLHEAD QUEEN: A YEAR ON PIONEER LAKE; A LOVE AFFAIR WITH BIRDS: THE LIFE OF THOMAS SADLER ROBERTS; PORTAGE: A FAMILY, A CANOE, AND THE SEARCH FOR THE GOOD LIFE; and 2021 Minnesota Book Award winner MINNESOTA’S GEOLOGIST: THE LIFE OF NEWTON HORACE WINCHELL, all published by Minnesota. Trained as a zoologist, she writes about environmental and natural history. Her family has owned a cabin outside Port Wing, Wisconsin, on Lake Superior’s South Shore for thirty-five years.

A theologian by training, Kiara Jorgenson earned degrees from St. Olaf College (BA, Religion & Women’s Studies, 2002), Denver Seminary (MDiv, 2007) and Luther Seminary (PhD, Theology, 2016). Her research interests include: Protestant ecotheologies, vocation, ecofeminisms, agrarian studies, ecological resistance movements, childhood studies, and the theology of motherwork. She teaches religion courses on ecotheologies, place-based spiritualities, and a smattering of environmental humanities offerings such as Biophilia, Theo-Ethics of Climate Change, and Culture of Nature.