New York Times Bestseller
A STORY OF SCIENCE AND SALVATION
The story of a small town engulfed by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, deep historical research and unforgettable characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
WinnerPulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
WinnerHelen Bernstein BOOK AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM
WinnerNATIONAL ACADEMIES SCIENCE BOOK AWARD
WinnerSEJ Rachel Carson ENVIRONMENT BOOK AWARD
A quiet seaside town in New Jersey, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping. A town that would rather have been known for its Little League World Series champions ended up making history for an entirely different reason: a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution. For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river.
Dan’s current book project is about monarch butterflies and the future of life
NEWS AND ARTICLES
These Winged Migrants Are Now Refugees — From Us
In this essay for the Washington Post, Dan describes how the social disruption and chaos of the...
The legacy of Toms River, as Seen from 2020
In his keynote address at a Princeton University seminar on "Truth and Evidence", Dan reflects on...
Danny DeVito Options Toms River
Producer, actor and director Danny DeVito, a New Jersey native and environmentalist, has optioned...
Knowledge is not enough
In his keynote address at the Festival for the Earth in Venice, Italy, Dan speaks about knowledge,...
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who writes frequently about environmental science, Dan Fagin is also a science journalism professor at New York University. His bestselling book, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation,was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer for General Nonfiction, as well as the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, the National Academies Science Book Award and the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Rachel Carson Environment Book Award, among other honors. A rave review in the New York Times described Toms River as “great journalism” and “a new classic of science reporting.” Dan’s recent publications include The New York Times, Scientific American, Nature and Slate. His new book project is about monarch butterflies and the future of biodiversity in the Anthropocene.