Marcellus Author: "It's About Making Hard Choices in a Hard Land in Hard Times"

Journalist and Pennsylvania native Seamus McGraw will share portraits of northeastern Pennsylvania landowners who suddenly discover their farms sit atop a natural gas bonanza and their struggles to make the right family, environmental and moral decisions about leasing their land Thursday, Sept. 15 in the Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.

In The End of Country published in June 2011, McGraw draws on his personal knowledge of the region and its residents to weave together a portrait of the land and the people against the backdrop of Marcellus Shale development.

Some environmentalists have decried what they see as the book's endorsement of a fossil fuel while some in the industry have bristled at its candid portrayal of the risks of natural gas drilling, dubbing it "'Gasland' on paper," McGraw says.

"My book is not about dogmatic, partisan, ideological points of view but about very real people trying to do the right thing in a very complicated situation," McGraw says. "I want people to see and identify with the reality that transcends the dogma."

Open to the public, McGraw's reading and talk will begin at noon. A book signing will follow at 1 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (marcellus.psu.edu) and the Penn State University Libraries. For more information, contact the Marcellus Center, (814) 865-1587 or marcellus@psu.edu.