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  • Innovation + Leadership presents Rachel Slade with Into the Raging Sea on Nov. 5, at the Music Hall Loft

    Innovation + Leadership presents


    Bestselling Author and Award-winning Journalist


    Rachel Slade

    with her acclaimed bestselling book




    Tuesday, November 5, at 7pm


    “A powerful and affecting story, beautifully handled by Slade, a journalist who clearly knows ships and the sea.”

    Douglas Preston, New York Times Book Review


    “Harrowing, moving...a taut adventure tale...The depth of research and reporting, and Slade’s skill at pacing and selecting the telling details produce a richly detailed narrative, tense and sad and true.” 

    Boston Globe


    “In addition to a gripping narrative of a cargo ship’s tragic voyage into the eye of a hurricane, Slade explains the fascinating world of commercial shipping and the essential—but often hidden—role it plays in our economy.”

    NPR, “Best Books of 2018”


    Portsmouth On Tuesday, November 5, bestselling author and journalist Rachel Slade comes to The Music Hall Loft. She will discuss her book, INTO THE RAGING SEA, a narrative on the mystery of El Faro’s tragic fate and the hidden truth about modern shipping. 

    The 7pm event includes an author presentation and interview with Mel Allen, Editor at Yankee Magazine, followed by a Q&A and post-event book signing and meet-and-greet. It will be held at The Music Hall Loft at 131 Congress St., in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


    “Rachel Slade’s work reflects her dedication to research and her commitment to the truth,” said Mel Allen, Editor of Yankee Magazine and the evening’s moderator. “It is a privilege to share a stage with Rachel, one of the most industrious and creative writers whose work I’ve shared with readers.”



    Rachel Slade’s book INTO THE RAGING SEA, unravels the disastrous and mysterious circumstances that lead to the worst American shipping disaster in recent years. On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole. No one could fathom how a vessel equipped with satellite communications, a sophisticated navigation system, and cutting-edge weather forecasting could suddenly vanish—until now. 

    Relying on hundreds of exclusive interviews with family members and maritime experts, as well as the words of the crew members themselves—whose conversations were captured by the ship’s data recorder—Slade unravels the mystery of the sinking of El Faro. As she recounts the final twenty-four hours onboard, Slade vividly depicts the officers’ anguish and fear as they struggled to carry out Captain Michael Davidson’s increasingly bizarre commands, which, they knew, would steer them straight into the eye of the storm. Taking a hard look at America’s aging merchant marine fleet, Slade also reveals the truth about modern shipping—a cut-throat industry plagued by razor-thin profits and ever more violent hurricanes fueled by global warming. INTO THE RAGING SEA takes us into the heart of an age-old American industry, casting new light on the hardworking men and women who paid the ultimate price in the name of profit.


    Rachel Slade began her journalism career as the Design Editor at Boston magazine and progressed to the position of Executive Editor. Her magazine work has earned considerable national recognition, including a National Civic Journalism award for an investigative story on the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Slade attended Barnard College for her Bachelor’s Degree and received her Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She splits her time between Brookline, Massachusetts and Rockport, Maine. 



    Mel Allen is the fifth editor of Yankee Magazine since its beginning in 1935. His first byline in Yankee appeared in 1977 and he joined the staff in 1979 as a senior editor. Eventually he became executive editor and in the summer of 2006 became editor. During his career he has edited and written for every section of the magazine, including home, food, and travel, while his pursuit of long form storytelling has always been vital to his mission as well. Mel taught fourth grade in Maine for three years and believes that his education as a writer began when he had to hold the attention of 29 children through months of Maine winters. He learned you had to grab their attention and hold it. After 12 years teaching magazine writing at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, he now teaches in the MFA creative nonfiction program at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Like all editors, his greatest joy is finding new talent and bringing their work to light.



    The ticket package for Innovation + Leadership: Rachel Slade with Into the Raging Sea, on Tuesday, November 5, at 7pm is $32. In addition to a reserved seat, the package includes a copy of INTO THE RAGING SEA ($18, paperback), a bar beverage, author discussion, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet. Packages can be purchased online at TheMusicHall.org, over the phone at 603.436.2400, or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street. 


    For further information, or to request an author interview, please contact: Patricia Lynch, Executive Producer, at plynch@themusichall.org or Brittany Wason, Literary Coordinator, at bwason@themusichall.org 


    For images, please see: https://goo.gl/photos/UENT8hSiMjZnrTWt5


    About Innovation + Leadership

    In this Age of Participation, The Music Hall has expanded its programming to focus on issues critical to our time. The Innovation + Leadership series was first launched nearly five years ago to serve our local business community, bringing together the best and the brightest in technology. The series has since broadened to showcase opinion leaders, authors and all variety of educators, and to serve audiences from a tri-state region and beyond—all who are interested in bettering the worlds they live in, at work and at home, locally and around the world. These lively and informative conversations feature experts in their field sharing experiences and providing participants practical tools for making meaningful advances in their lives. From demonstrations in the art of all things digital to special forums featuring regional and global leaders in sustainability, from book discussion-demonstrations on the positive effect of meditation to awareness-raising events led by today’s champions in philanthropy, feminism, and family matters, each Innovation + Leadership event is memorable and impactful. The Music Hall is committed to community building and personal flourishing. Our Innovation + Leadership series delivers on that commitment.


    Presenting Sponsor:  Alnoba

    Series Sponsors: Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine; Bangor Savings Bank

    Media Partner: NHPR

    Season Sponsors:  Carey & Giampa Realtors; Portwalk Place; The River House Restaurant

    Contributing Partner:  The University of New Hampshire




    NPR “Best Book of 2018”

    Outside, “Best Summer Books”


    “For sheer drama on the water, it’s hard to beat the tragedy recounted in Rachel Slade’s Into the Raging Sea. . . . a fast-moving cinematic adventure. But for all of the drama, the worst scares are in the epilogue. This sinking was no simple accident.”?Janet Maslin, New York Times


    “A powerful and affecting story, beautifully handled by Slade, a journalist who clearly knows ships and the sea.”Douglas Preston, New York Times Book Review


    “Riveting.”—Sam Sifton, New York Times


    “A sea disaster tale unlike any other . . . an exciting, terrifying, and deeply sad story.”?Gilbert Cruz, New York Times Book Review


    “Harrowing, moving...a taut adventure tale...The depth of research and reporting, and Slade’s skill at pacing and selecting the telling details produce a richly detailed narrative, tense and sad and true.”?Boston Globe


    “In addition to a gripping narrative of a cargo ship’s tragic voyage into the eye of a hurricane, Slade explains the fascinating world of commercial shipping and the essential—but often hidden—role it plays in our economy.”?NPR 


    “More than the story of how a ship was overcome by a storm, Into The Raging Sea is an allegory for what it means to be a part of the nation’s largely invisible working and middle class.”?Longreads


    “Riveting”?Entertainment Weekly


    “With skillful narrative prose and sensitivity, Slade takes readers on the final voyage of the El Faro . . . provid[ing] a haunting intimacy to this maritime disaster.”?Booklist


    “Intimate, eerie, and gripping.”?Outside 


    “This is a staunchly humanistic work, adroitly told, with a wide emotional range that incorporates both a sense of loss and a call for change.”?Portland Press Herald


    “A taut, chilling, and emotionally charged retelling of a doomed ship’s final days.”?Kirkus Review (starred review)


    “This well-crafted and gripping account...frames the tragedy with a meticulous review of all the ways in which it could have been avoided...This is a painful and poignant narrative.”?Publishers Weekly (starred review)


    “Incredible.”?Tina Jordan, New York Times Book Review, staff picks for 2018


    “Rachel Slade's mastery of tension will leave your nerves twanging... Into the Raging Sea is an exceptional work.”?The Maine Edge


    “Slade’s book is a chance to name—via unprecedented firsthand sourcing from the ship’s accident recorder, its black box—and call to the fore the forces that robbed these mariners of their lives, a cry that should be heeded by anyone who cares about a fellow human.”—Paste


    “Rachel Slade's book sucked me in. There's no other way to put it. I devoured it in three days, engrossed by her dramatic re-creation of the worst American maritime disaster in 40 years. In addition to a gripping narrative…Slade explains the fascinating world of commercial shipping and the essential – but often hidden – role it plays in our economy.”Scott Detrow, NPR


    “Slade's account of the El Faro tragedy is a cautionary tale for leaders who think they have all the answers, for employees who choose not to speak up... and for organizations that rely on systems and processes that don't provide the information its people need to make the best decisions.”?Inc.


    “Excellent and gripping...Slade does an incisive and compelling job explaining what happened to the El Faro, cutting between the doomed voyage, the backgrounds of the crew, the story of American shipping, the incompetent and venal owners, and the would-be rescuers and investigators.”?The Spectator UK


    “Slade has assembled a damning book...Market forces have created a shipping industry bent on wringing every penny out of a voyage, leading to an aging fleet, postponed repairs, budget cuts, understaffed crews and stressed captains.”?Minneapolis Star Tribune 


    “A riveting sea story of disaster and death. Many readers will likely leave it at that, but Into the Raging Sea is so much more. It speaks to the struggles and challenges faced by all mariners making a living on the sea, and the impact our society has on people when it makes cold, detached decisions and laws based solely on economics and return on investment.”?GCaptain


    Into the Raging Sea successfully, and very powerfully, navigates the difficult channel between insiders and outsiders. Slade's writing style will appeal to readers of nautical thrillers, interspersing a fast-paced narrative of what was actually happening aboard the vessel...with a rigorously researched backdrop covering commercial and regulatory issues.”?Seatrade Maritime News


    “Even for those who deal with these issues on a daily basis, this stirring book still shocks with the scale of the problems that it exposes. This is an important title, with lessons that extend far beyond the terrible tragedy that it describes.”?Nautilus International 


    “Slade tells this sad story with enormous energy and quotable inventiveness. Her long experience as a journalist shows on every page of her account, with her prose bringing every aspect of the El Faro saga to colorful life.”?Open Letters Review


    “If I could sum up this book in one word, it would be 'honest'; I don't believe a more accurate account of this story exists or will ever exist.”Captain Christopher J. Edyvean, National President of the American Merchant Marine Veterans


    “A Perfect Storm for a new generation, Rachel Slade's Into the Raging Sea is a masterful page-turning account of the El Faro's sinking, one that leaves you profoundly moved by the crew's dedication and grit, and infuriated at the disturbing conditions that led to this tragedy.”Ben Mezrich, bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook


    “With gripping prose and edge-of-the-seat momentum, Rachel Slade takes the reader aboard the final, fatal voyage of El Faro. Into the Raging Sea imparts a profound message about the power of nature and the fallibility of human judgement even in our digitized era.”?Peter Stark, author of Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire 


    “Rachel Slade's bracing Into the Raging Sea is a story as old as seafaring itself. Only Slade isn't guessing here at the fate of the El Faro. This minute-by-minute account illustrates in chilling detail exactly what happens when the near-infinite might of the ocean plows broadside into the hubris of men.”?Brantley Hargrove, author of The Man Who Caught the Storm


    “An extraordinary piece of reporting. I tore through it like a novel but with the inside knowledge of how insulated the shipping industry is, how well it protects its secrets, and of the countless nets it deploys to entangle journalists. Slade pushes through the waves, heavy seas, and military court imbroglio in the same way the El Faro faced hurricane Joaquin: dead on at Full Speed Ahead.”?John Konrad, editor of GCaptain and author of Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster 


    “Rachel Slade mashes up The Perfect Storm with a suspenseful, page-turning thriller, cutting through the corporate double-speak to shine a light on how it was that thirty-three men and women sailed into Hurricane Joaquin. Superbly written, this deserves a place on the bookshelf of modern maritime classics. Even those who have followed El Faro closely will find major surprises here.”?Robert Frump, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Until the Sea Shall Free Them: Life, Death, and Survival in the Merchant Marine 


    “Rachel Slade's Into the Raging Sea made me miss my subway stop and cancel at least one appointment. It's a gripping, moving account of a nautical tragedy, told with equal parts verve, gusto, and compassion. Don't miss it.”?Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World


    About The Music Hall

    The Music Hall is an active and vital cultural center in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, dedicated to the advancement of the tri-state region’s cultural life through the performing arts, literature, and education. A community-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, it presents entertainment from around the world and around the corner—the greatest musicians, writers, and performers of the time, extraordinary films, and award-winning documentaries. Its 600 yearly events delight an annual audience of 130,000 (including 20,000 children) in two theaters—an 1878 Victorian-era Historic Theater and the modern and intimate Loft space. The Music Hall was recently named Editors’ Choice “Best All-Around Entertainment” by Yankee Magazine and is a designated “American Treasure for the Arts.” Through innovative community partnerships, it subsidizes thousands of tickets each year to make the arts accessible to all. The Music Hall is community-oriented and committed to helping the Seacoast region flourish. 


    Web: www.TheMusicHall.org | Twitter: @MusicHall | Facebook: /musichall | YouTube: /musichallnh


    “The crown jewel of Portsmouth’s cultural scene” - Yankee Magazine

    “The beating cultural heart of New Hampshire's seacoast” - Boston Globe