ARLINGTON - Doug Fine, author of "Farewell, my Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living," is to speak at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, in the Rosebud Theater at the E.H. Hereford University Center, 300 W. First St. Fine's book recounts his harrowing and humorous adventures after leaving New York City and taking up a ranch lifestyle in New Mexico to live a greener life. The lecture is free and open to the public.
As a young freelancer, Fine reported for The Washington Post, Salon, U.S. News and World Report, National Public Radio and other venues from little-visited jungle war zones like Burma, Rwanda, Laos, Guatemala and Tajikistan. He became a world-class adventure writer and investigative journalist, writing culturally insightful and funny dispatches. His first book, "Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man," was based on his adventures while living in Alaska.
For his second book, Fine embarked on what he calls a "hypocrisy reduction project" to see if he could truly live a sustainable lifestyle. He moved to an obscure valley in Southern New Mexico to examine whether a "digital age human" could live without petroleum and without giving up any of his digital age comforts. He would grow his own food and harness power from the sun. The experiment was complicated greatly by the fact that Fine had never raised so much as a chicken or a bean and he had no mechanical or electrician skills. The book begins with a near-Biblical flood and ends with a farewell to his beloved Subaru. Fine struggled with the contradictions and challenges of going green, as his shopping list changed from things like wasabi and pineapple juice to shotgun shells and goat syringes.
His conclusion? Fine found he could live a sustainable lifestyle once he figured out how to keep the coyotes from eating his chickens, his solar panels from electrocuting him and his vegetable oil-powered truck exhaust from smelling like Kung Pao chicken and making him hungry.
"Farewell, My Subaru" has been translated into Chinese, Korean and other languages. Fine now travels around the world talking about his sustainability experiences and is a regular contributor of adventure and investigative features to National Public Radio.
His appearance is in conjunction with The University of Texas at Arlington's OneBook common reading experience for freshmen. The program adopted Bill McKibben's "Deep Economy" for 2009-10 and has scheduled a series of lectures and other activities exploring sustainability. Visit www.uta.edu/uac/one-book/one-book-events for more information.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.