Rosanna Xia: California Against the Sea

Oct 19 2023 - 7:00pm

FREE TO ATTEND. No registration required. 

Join us Thursday, October 19th at 7pm at Pegasus Downtown when we welcome Los Angeles Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Rosanna Xia in celebration of the release of her new book, California Against the Sea: Visions for Our Vanishing Coastline (out this fall from Heyday Books). Xia will read from, discuss, and sign her book, joined in conversation by New York Magazine features writer Elizabeth Weil. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

About the book:

Called "remarkable... a must-read for our uncertain times," by Ed Yong, California Against the Sea is an investigation into the stakes, stopgaps, internecine struggles, and potential paths forward for the 27 million people whose homes, health, and lives are imperiled by surging seas along the Pacific coastline written by "one of the great environmental reporters working today," per Lisa Wells. 

Along California’s 1,200-mile coastline, the overheated Pacific Ocean is rising and pressing in, imperiling both wildlife and the maritime towns and cities that 27 million people call home. In California Against the Sea, Xia asks: As climate chaos threatens the places we love so fiercely, will we finally grasp our collective capacity for change?

Xia investigates the impacts of engineered landscapes, the market pressures of development, and the ecological activism and political scrimmages that have carved our contemporary coastline—and foretell even greater changes to our shores. From the beaches of the Mexican border up to the sheer-cliffed North Coast, the voices of Indigenous leaders, community activists, small-town mayors, urban engineers, and tenacious environmental scientists commingle. Together, they chronicle the challenges and urgency of forging a climate-wise future. Xia’s investigation takes us to Imperial Beach, Los Angeles, Pacifica, Marin City, San Francisco, and beyond, weighing the rivaling arguments, agreements, compromises, and visions governing the State of California’s commitment to a coast for all. Through graceful reportage, she charts how the decisions we make today will determine where we go tomorrow: headlong into natural disaster, or toward an equitable refashioning of coastal stewardship.

About the author:

Rosanna Xia is an environmental reporter for the Los Angeles Times, where she specializes in stories about the coast and ocean. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2020 for explanatory reporting, and her work has been anthologized in the Best American Science and Nature Writing series.

About the moderator: 

Elizabeth Weil is a features writer at New York Magazine. Prior to that she covered California and climate for ProPublica and worked as a writer-at-large for the New York Times Magazine. Her most recent book, The Girl Who Smiled Beads, was a New York Times bestseller, and her magazine work has won an Emmy, an Oakes Award, and recognized by the National Magazine Awards.


Event address: 
Pegasus Downtown
2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
California Against the Sea: Visions for Our Vanishing Coastline By Rosanna Xia Cover Image
ISBN: 9781597146197
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Heyday Books - September 26th, 2023

Event Category: 
Shattuck Location