The Niagara Falls Public Library will welcome New York Times bestselling author Keith O’Brien to discuss his book, “Paradise Falls: The True Story of an Environmental Catastrophe.” The novel recounts the Love Canal era in Niagara Falls.
O’Brien will speak at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the auditorium of the LaSalle Branch Library (8728 Buffalo Ave.). Books will be available for purchase through the Book Corner. O’Brien will be available to sign copies of his book.
Per Mayor Robert Restaino’s office: “In the spring of 1977, residents of a working-class neighborhood in Niagara Falls grew concerned when toxic-smelling substances began leaching into basements, floating in local streams, and pooling in puddles in backyards and playgrounds. Shortly after, children started suffering mysterious burns while playing outside, and kids started getting sick. What residents did not know was their homes had been built next to what was once a giant pit called Love Canal – and that decades earlier, Hooker Chemical had used the Love Canal to dump barrels containing 20,000 tons of chemical waste.
“In ‘Paradise Falls,’ O’Brien tells the story of how an unlikely group of neighborhood women uncovered this secret and sought justice for their families by taking on some of the most powerful men in the world, including the governor of New York and the president of the United States.”
Niagara Falls Public Library Executive Director Sarah Potwin said, “We are thrilled to welcome Keith O’Brien to Niagara Falls. It is especially exciting to welcome a visiting author who was able to turn a local environmental disaster into an inspiring tale of everyday homemakers who became heroes.”
Restaino said, “Niagara Falls residents are well-aware of the gross mismanagement that was the Love Canal, and the devastating affect it had on our community. This novel highlights the crisis and the efforts of ordinary citizens seeking justice and is a great example of community members fighting for our city.”