Black Diamonds: A Childhood Colored by Coal (Paperback)

Black Diamonds: A Childhood Colored by Coal By Catherine Young Cover Image
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A 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Award winner

"Young's memoir of her hometown is as powerful a picture as Inness' painting, revealing its harsh transformation a century later."


In 1855, the landscape painter George Inness began work on his commissioned painting The Lackawanna Valley. A century later, a girl in Scranton, Pennsylvania, looks out over her coal-strewn homeland wishing for beauty and wondering where the artist had stood with his canvas. The interplay between the two stories is at the heart of Catherine Young's memoir Black Diamonds: A Childhood Colored By Coal. Young invites readers into a world now vanished, but which lingers in shimmering portraits. A lyric work of environmental history, Black Diamonds gives voice to the birthplace of the industrial revolution in North America and the consequences for the people and the forgotten valley that once powered the nation.

About the Author

Catherine Young worked as a national park ranger, farmer, educator, and mother before putting her heart into her writing. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia, and holds degrees in Geography, Environmental Science, and Education. Catherine is author of the ecopoetry collection, Geosmin. She deeply believes in the use of story and art as tools for transforming the world, and she holds concern for water. Rooted in farmlife, Catherine writes with a keen sense of place and lives with her family in the Driftless region of Wisconsin.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781948814836
ISBN-10: 1948814838
Publisher: Torrey House Press
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English