One of my favorite Southwestern authors, Craig Childs, comes to Springdale tomorrow for a lecture/reading supporting his newest book, Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession. Childs’ new work centers around the Four Corners Raid of June 2009, when the FBI and BLM made a huge bust of folks suspected of illegally gathering, transporting, and selling ancient Puebloan artifacts. The aftermath of the bust spurred lots and lots of discussion and debate in wide circles, all surrounding the questions of who, if anyone, has rights to historic artifacts and what becomes of them. While I haven’t read the book (yet), my impression is Childs takes a typically sophisticated approach to his examination, injecting much personal experience and a lifelong log of reflections into a balanced exploration. For more on the book, check out the New York Times review on Childs’ Utah book tour.
Childs is an amazing writer and speaker, able to easily capture any crowd’s attention with both stunning tales of wild adventure and delicate, intimate ponderings on a slate of philosophical areas. The pure beauty of Childs’ language grabs me, as does his humble, sincere personality. There is a certain touch of something crazy about Childs, something very wild and grounded and true. I highly recommend seeing him if you can; you’ll be glad you did.
“Beyond what most people think about archaeology–with its cleanly numbered dates, and discoveries–lies a vibrant and controversial realm of scientists, thieves, and contested land claims.” Mr. Childs explores the field’s transgressions against the cultures it tries to preserve and pauses to ask: To whom does the past belong? Written in his trademark lyrical style, this riveting book carries readers directly into his adventures and discoveries, lifting the curtain on the ethical dilemmas and dark side of archaeology.
Craig Childs is a writer who focuses on natural sciences, archaeology, and mind-blowing journeys into the wilderness. He has published more than a dozen critically acclaimed books on nature, science, and adventure. He is a commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Men’s Journal, Outside and Orion. His subjects range from pre-Columbian archaeology to US border issues to the last free-flowing rivers of Tibet.
Z-Arts! (Zion Arts and Humanities Council) presents Craig Childs tomorrow, Wednesday, September 29, at 7:00 p.m. at the Canyon Community Center in Springdale, 126 Lion Boulevard. The lecture is free for everyone, though Z-Arts! always appreciates donations for its programs. Hope you can make it!