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After receiving a mysterious inheritance, journalist Erika Bolstad sets out on a tumultuous journey through her family's buried past and its dark connection to the Promised Land of the American West. Author Erika Bolstad was shocked to learn she had inherited mineral rights in North Dakota in the throes of an oil bonanza. Determined to unearth the story behind her unexpected inheritance, she followed the trail to her great-grandmother, Anna, who her family had painted to be a courageous homesteader who paved her way in the unforgiving American West. But, Bolstad discovers a darker truth about Anna than her family had ever shared. With journalistic rigor, she unearths a history of environmental exploitation and genocide as well as the modern-day consequences of the Great Plains Dream: we could be rich.
Erika Bolstad is a journalist and documentary filmmaker in Portland, Oregon. Her work on climate change has appeared in the Washington Post, Scientific American, and many other publications.
"A vital exploration of the long history of abuse against women, the land, and the weight of inheritance, told in gripping prose. Bolstad's Windfall comes at a crucial time when our country is at a reckoning with its own dark history of conquest and extraction." — Taylor Brorby, author of Boys and Oil: Growing Up Gay in a Fractured Land
"With Windfall, Erika Bolstad offers a keen awareness of a common bind: our deep desire to protect the last natural resources while sustaining our precarious domestic lives. With meticulously researched and clear, ringing prose, she takes us on a journey of consternation, curiosity, and, finally, reconciliation with her family's past and her own tender future." — Debra Gwartney, author of I Am a Stranger Here Myself
[Windfall] is filled with expertly researched details... This book will appeal to readers who enjoy detailed political history books.
"Shockingly personal and brilliantly researched, Windfall is highly recommended." — Booklist
"The author effectively examines the political, economic, and environmental issues involved in the production of energy across the country... An engrossing look at the effects of the American oil and gas industry through the lens of family history." — Kirkus Reviews