Storying Climate Change: A Bibliography of Literary Climate Change Texts
Sarah Sherman is an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. She has produced the following bibliography and accompanying statement toward completion of her Senior Honours Work for her Bachelors in Environmental Studies (BES) degree. They are intended as a resource for participants in the Storying Climate Change project, which launches in the spring of 2018. Documenting climate change literature is always in-process; readers are invited to send in their suggestions of texts that are not on this list.
How do we story climate change? Climate is elusive. We cannot feel it, face it, pin it down. It is shifting patterns, averages, and statistics measured across great distances and deep time. Scientists have made it clear that our global climate system is warming, and that human activity is driving this change. But climate science remains incredibly complex, and difficult to communicate. Worse, the stories so many of us have been telling for so long–of linear progress and growth, of human exceptionalism–are, arguably, in large part responsible for the mess in which we find ourselves. With a growing recognition that our climate crisis is also a crisis of culture and imagination, many academics, artists and activists are urgently calling for different kinds of stories. They are calling for stories that imagine alternatives to capitalism and the myth of progress (see King, 2013; Kingsnorth & Hine, 2009); stories of interdependence and mutual aid to challenge Social Darwinism (see subMedia, 2017); stories that replace colonial and possessive metaphors with metaphors of membership (Admussen 2016), that help us comprehend vast scales of time, and that acknowledge the subjecthood of nonhuman beings (see Ghosh, 2016).
The following bibliography of literary climate change texts assembles some of a multiplicity of ways in which authors, academics, poets, and playwrights are responding to the unsettling context of our changing climate. Texts have been collected under the following categories: Cli-Fi (with subcategorization Future, Present, and Across Times); Cli-Fi Anthologies; Cli-Fi for Young Audiences; Climate Change Avant La Lettre, Climate Memoire/Testimonial, Climate Change Poetry, Climate Change Plays (published and unpublished) and Climate Change Ecocriticism. My personal proclivities have had a rather obvious shaping influence on this bibliography. Because I have a background (and research interest) in theatre, I devoted special attention to gathering climate change plays, including unpublished works. Further, works of narrative fiction clearly make up the bulk of the bibliography and will be the focus of my analysis here. But narrative fiction represents just one way of storying climate change. I want to acknowledge that poets, playwrights, and memoirists are offering responses to climate change which do very different and important work.
Daniel Bloom’s blog, The Cli-Fi Report, (see link) served as a rich first resource to begin gathering texts identified by their authors, or others, as belonging to the burgeoning new literary genre called Cli-Fi. I gathered more climate fiction texts through subject searches of public library and publishing house websites, literary competitions (e.g., CBC’s Canada Reads), book reviews in academic journals and popular media such as Amy Brady’s monthly column, Burning Worlds, in the Chicago Review of Books. Adam Trexler’s Anthropocene Fictions, and other secondary sources, offered many excellent examples of novels dealing with climate change in creative and unusual ways. Leikam and Leyda (2017) recently published an incredibly comprehensive list of Cli-Fi ecocriticism, “Cli-Fi in American Studies: A Research Bibliography.” A link to their work is included in the ecocriticism category of this bibliography. Considering the extent of their list, I have focussed my own efforts on collecting Canadian ecocritical analysis of climate change texts.
As the bibliography grew, trends and themes emerged, as well as some difficulties and questions, which have shaped how the list is structured. For example, it became quite apparent that sub-categorization of the climate fiction list was necessary and, further, that there was debate in literature regarding how these texts should be termed. My allegiance to the moniker Cli-Fi, and decision to use time-settings to further divide the list, are explained in more detail below.
There is a struggle amongst authors and academics of climate change fiction, as to how these works should be categorized. I have chosen to use the term Cli-Fi, which is both very popular and very contested. The meme-friendly moniker was originally coined by freelance journalist Daniel Bloom, who continues to track and promote its expanding usage (see link). Cli-Fi is clear, simple, and it is catching on: it has been recognized as an emerging genre in literary circles, popular culture and academic institutions; it has popped up in dedicated bookstore sections, book clubs, university courses, listservs, and has a growing #CliFi social media presence.
But not everyone is enamoured of the term. Delia Falconer (2016) has called it a “lazy classification.” Adam Trexler advocates for the term Anthropocene Fiction, as it challenges the sense of “climate change” and “global warming” as threatening futures. “Anthropocene Fiction,” he argues, conveys the “superhistorical” and geological scale of a “phenomenon that has arrived” (2015, 4). But, as Cli-Fi author James Bradley argues, using the term Anthropocene actually emphasizes “human primacy” rather than its consequences (see interview with Five Books, 2017). Further, “Anthropocene” and other terms proposed such as “Capitalocene,” and “Chthulucence” (Haraway, 2016), while perhaps brilliantly apt, are also jargony and likely alienating to a wider public.
Then there is the problem of what the term Cli-Fi can and cannot represent or be taken to mean. I use it here as, simply, a catchy abbreviation of Climate Fiction which playfully calls to mind associations with Sci-Fi but stands apart as a genre of its own. While we might associate Sci-Fi with futuristic, technological, apocalyptic, perhaps unserious works, neither Sci-Fi nor Cli-Fi is limited to those tropes. There are many examples of “serious,” artful, and challenging works within both genres. This false separation of science and art, as though one sullies the other, is, as Ghosh points out, a partitioning based on modern intolerance for nature-culture hybrids (2016, 71). Science and art are historically intertwined.
Further, assembling authors behind the banner of the burgeoning Cli-Fi genre signals the arrival of a much needed upswell. There is a sense of a community of storytellers in conversation with one another, accumulating a body of response to those challenges for story reform or revolution, and challenging each other to expand ideas of what is narratively possible, desirable, and necessary in this climate changed epoch.
In his recent book, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, Amitav Ghosh posits that the literary novel is, perhaps, incapable of storying climate change. He argues that the novel’s inbuilt, restrictive forms and conventions resist the improbable (17), the vast and continuous (62), the non-human or collective narrative (78), and wordless forms of expression (84), limiting its capacity for the sort of imaginative work our climate crisis requires. Bradley counters that, while climate change does present some big challenges, Ghosh does not acknowledge the ways in which, increasingly, Cli-Fi novelists are “reconfiguring and transforming contemporary fiction” (2017). Not all Cli-Fi novels are about climate change, at least not directly. As climate anxiety increasingly permeates our culture, fictional works approach the issue in many ways, from many angles. There are, I have found, strong correspondences between modes of addressing climate change (e.g., directly or foregrounded, indirectly or backgrounded, metaphorically, magically, as parable) and how the novel interacts with time. These differences in tone, style and intent seemed significant enough to require acknowledgement through subcategorization. I began by distinguishing between Cli-Fi stories set in the present tense and Clif-Fi Future stories. As the list continued to grow, another category, Cli-Fi Across Time, emerged as necessary to capture those works which span or spin freely across human generations. In the following, I will elaborate and explore examples of texts within those categories.
Within the category of Cli-Fi Future, we find the bulk of those apocalyptic stories in which a dramatically changed/changing climate drives a human struggle to survive extreme circumstances: floods, droughts, famine, plague, massive social disruption and decay. These stories tend to be the territory of the technological fix, where hope is placed in human ingenuity. There are, however, exceptions to this strong apocalyptic or dystopian trend. Hamish MacDonald’s Finitude, for example, is a humorous and “light-hearted climate change adventure story about an insurance salesman at the end of the world” (Bloom 2009). Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book was described in the Sydney Review of Books as “the saddest love story I have ever read…concerned with the human mind and its capacity to imagine, with the way stories are born from particular locales and yet can spread like viruses, travelling gypsy-like across the planet in the way of migratory birds, taking hold of minds in places they don’t belong” (see Gleeson-White 2013). So not all Cli-Fi future stories fall into dystopian doom and gloom tropes.
It is interesting to note, however, that while I have created a separate list of Young Adult Cli-Fi, almost all of the stories in this category are set in an apocalyptic or dystopian future. It begs the question why. Perhaps dystopia has always paired nicely with teen angst; in my highschool days we read The Chrysalids, The Giver, The Handmaid’s Tale, Brave New World. Perhaps instead of social and political dystopias, authors are meeting a demand for texts reflecting contemporary climate anxieties?
There is heated debate simmering amongst artists and scientists alike, regarding the efficacy of communicating climate change in apocalyptic terms. Greg Foyster argues that writing bleak dystopias is too easy; the art invention, of visioning a better world, is more difficult and important work (2017). While some worry that all the doom and gloom will drive the public into despairing apathy (see Mann, 2017; Painter, 2014), others see it as essential to awakening the public to a harsh reality and raising awareness and concern about what urgently must be done (see Wallace-Wells, 2017; Christensen, 2017; Mark, 2017). In a recent column for The Guardian, Lucia Graves argues that there is no simple “three parts hope to one part scary” formula, and that it is useless to debate whether fear inspires action or apathy (2018). Individuals, she argues, respond in complicated and widely varying ways to a range of emotions. Anger, for example, can be a powerful motivator. Whatever the emotional appeal–fear, hope, anger, other–there is room around the Cli-FI fire for many stories.
Climate change haunts the background of Margaret Atwood’s Maddadam Trilogy. Her post-apocalyptic world has come about as the result of a deliberate act of bioterrorism–a deadly plague–created and released in response to the degraded social and environmental conditions, including mass species extinctions, of a warming Earth. Within the strangeness of this near-future world, we encounter eerily familiar ideas and technologies–plucked from today’s headlines, or morning talk show banter–imagined through to the more sinister outcomes of their shiny promises. In this way, darkly humorous and speculative imagining intervenes, critically, in the preoccupations of our current culture. Atwood refers to her Maddadam Trilogy as speculative and “Ustopian” fiction (2011). “Ustopian” refers to a future that is, simultaneously, rather dystopian for the remaining humans who inhabit it, but promisingly utopian for those non-human and human-hybrid beings already flourishing in the ashes of the old world. A picture of what has happened to this world emerges slowly as Atwood traces multiple storylines, moving backward and forward again in time, revealing the ways in which the lives and fates of the trilogy’s many characters intersect. Snowman, one of Maddaddam’s protagonists, drifting in and out of fevered consciousness, struggles to reconcile himself with the strange new world he keeps awakening to and quests to follow ripples of memory back toward some causal understanding of how he ended up here. For Snowman and the other surviving humans, once they have found each other, there is an uneasy hope.
Christy Call noticed a tendency amongst her students–who often asked why books have to be so depressing–to equate ease with happiness. She discusses the melancholic quality of the increasingly “ecocentric” stories challenging western anthropocentrism (2017, 1). Melancholy, she argues, emerges in those narratives that allow us to follow the “ripples of consequence that project outward beyond any single event in any kind of fixed time” and to understand our lives as inextricably and “collectively bound” (2). There is generative, if melancholic, power in drawing those long connections of cause and consequence, which should not be lost in all the concern about doom and gloom driving people toward denial or complacent despair.
And yet, considering the dramatic ways in which our warming planet is already changed and changing, does such a long list of Cli-Fi Future stories not over-represent the value of asking us to imagine “what if,” perhaps at the expense of stories which ask, instead, “what now” and allow us to reimagine “how.”
Cli-Fi stories set in the present tend to be much less apocalyptic in tone. They are, generally, more odd and artful, approaching the conundrum of climate change in indirect, imaginative ways. There are stories that, on the surface, seem to have very little to do with climate change, but the issue comes up and in through the dirt cellar. Climate is storied vicariously through unsettling narratives of loss and love, unpredictability, disruption, vulnerability and interdependency.
Ghosh makes a particularly striking observation in his Great Derangement regarding the uncanniness of extreme events precipitated by our changing climate. The uncanny appears to us in flashes of re-cognizing something we already knew but forgot. Ghosh argues that the regularity of bourgeois life has dulled our collective, accrued and instinctive knowledges of the earth’s unpredictability “to the point of derangement” (36). But the disruption of global warming forces us to recognize the subjecthood of the nonhuman world around us. Plants, electricity, natural systems, weather, water: things over which we have assumed a superiority or mastery, have powerful intentions of their own. They are not backdrop, but protagonist. The novel, Ghosh insists, cannot deal with climate change because it is fixated on the hyper realistic. Run through the novel’s “calculus of probability” (23) the exceptional and uncanny realities of our changing climate ring false.
Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Flight Behavior, ripostes Ghosh’s Cli-Fi jab. Within the familiar form of a realist narrative, Kingsolver uses just a touch of magic to create an exceptional, uncanny event which flutters on the line between authentic and fantastic. One fall day, almost the entire North American population of monarch butterflies suddenly appears on a mountain in Tennessee, instead of continuing south to their overwintering grounds in Mexico. Dellarobia, a young mother who has never seen a state line but is familiar with the poverty one, is the first to encounter this “miracle” in the woods behind her home. The presence of the monarchs carries a spiritual and potentially economic significance for the poor rural community. But it also carries an ecological one. The astonishing miracle of a forest on fire, alight with the flaming orange fluttering of millions of monarchs, is the fevered flush of a collapsing system. As Dellarobia faces this truth, the world begins to open up before her: from the confines of the kitchen table and her unhappy marriage, out into the politics of her community, into the national media spotlight, and right up to the scale of biosphere as she comes to understand herself in relation to the lifesystems supporting the monarch butterflies’ migration. She is bearing witness to their possible end of days, and to the end of life as she has known it. Dellarobia turns to face hard truths, understanding they will change everything, and resolves not to “crap the bed and stay in it” (502) but get up and face the change. Kingsolver asks us to accept that there is no going back to the old stories of our lives; we are changed with this climate. There is both pain and hope in facing hard truth, as an end may also mark a beginning.
The story of the monarchs is uncanny. In it, we can recognize something we have always known: that while a body–a system–may slowly and silently absorb stress, beyond some invisible threshold collapse can occur with astonishing suddenness. While this monarch phenomenon has not really happened, we can easily imagine that it could, and soon. Further, we recognize that such stories are, in fact, happening to other species every day. Kingsolver has conjured a powerful symbol of frailty and resilience, of the beautiful and terrible intertwined.
Where Kingsolver uses just a touch of the magical, other authors use heaping spoonfuls! Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky tells a story of art/magic pitted against science/ technology as a young witch girl and inventor boy come of age, and come into conflict with each other as the world around them unravels. In Catherine Chanter’s The Well, Britain struggles under severe and unprecedented drought while rain, inexplicably, continues to fall only on one family farm. Craig Russell’s Fragment features a blue whale as one of its protagonists. Rivka Galchen’s Atmospheric Disturbances makes mysterious metaphor of climate; her middle-aged narrator, certain his wife has been replaced by a doppelganger, seeks answers through meteorological research. It struck me that perhaps fantasy, magic and metaphor, are serving as a sort of coping mechanism, making hard truths easier to tolerate as painful stories move out of future settings and draw closer to us in the present.
But there is much more to consider about metaphor and magic in climate fictions. Considering Ghosh’s compelling argument about how a traditionally hyper-realistic orientation poses enormous challenges for novels in dealing with the uncanny quality of climate change, strategies of metaphor and magic realism would make sense as an emerging trend. But what are the implications of metaphors which, for example, draw poetic connection between exterior/weather and interior/psychological turmoil? Does the use of such metaphor not create a safely distancing effect, averting our attention from the interconnected and contingent nature of our lives. It is also fascinating to consider the popular rise of stories like Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees, which hold the poetic scope of a grand metaphor but, in fact, are quite literally asking us to expand how we conceive of nature, and how we understand ourselves in relation to other non-human lifeforms, living systems and even non-living systems and things.
Magic Realism is an attractive option for Cli-Fi authors as an already well established and celebrated form that is considered serious and high literary art. Magic Realism is defined as “a literary style in which realistic techniques…are similarly combined with surreal or dreamlike elements” (“Magic Realism” Def. 1). But in the uncanny context of global warming, magic requires closer consideration. Professor Cate Sandilands asked me whether the monarch event in Kingsolver’s Flight Behaviour, which I described as a touch of magic, was in fact an example of something completely different and new; something we might call Climate Realism. Sudden migratory behavioural shift is no longer surreal or dreamlike, it is a fictional event that feels entirely, terrifyingly plausible. In the context of our warming planet, what may have once seemed magical becomes entirely realistic. Inuit elders, for example, have witnessed the sun rising in the wrong spot on the horizon (see Dixon, 2010). This is not magic, but climate realism. Though we may, as Ghosh posits, be struggling to deny this new reality to the point of derangement.
Cli-Fi Across Times
While the category Cli-Fi across times is a smaller list, most of the novels have been written in the last year or two. I anticipate this list will grow as more authors respond to the call for reform toward “systems over objects,” where novels build “dense networks of interconnection whose logics and complexities are more layered and more powerful than any individual character could ever be” (Admussen, 2016). Authors in the Cli-Fi Across Times category are stretching narrative conventions to allow us a sense of complex systems operating over greater scales of time and space. Below, I discuss two entirely different approaches to achieving this in David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, which takes up a linear configuration stretching forward and backward through generations of time and Ali Smith’s Autumn, which playfully conjures a poetic, free-flowing cyclical sense of time.
Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks is a sweeping, genre melding Cli-Fi thriller fantasy. The story is split into six parts that skip forward in time, like a stone cast across the span of a human lifetime: 1984, 1991, 2004, 2015-16-17-18-19-20, 2025, 2043. Each part (excluding the last) introduces a new first-person narrative, all of which come to be deeply interconnected. The realistic, thriller-style human drama is repeatedly disrupted by strange and mystical events connected to a secret war between two factions of “atemporal” beings: herbivorous horologists who reincarnate, and carnivorous anchorites who consume the souls of others in order to defer their own deaths. The novel examines how human struggles with mortality have shaped and continue to shape our lives and the world around us. The Bone Clocks (humans) meet their mortality with denial, resistance, fixation, relief, anger and peace, while “all around us, inside of us even” the immortals’ secret war of opposed ideologies–cyclic rebirth versus consumptive destruction–wages on.
The influence of climate justice discourse is apparent in each of the story’s six parts. Throughout, we can trace the social and environmental fallout of the global rise of neoliberal capitalism. In part one, teenaged Holy Sykes, runs away from her blue-collar family home while tensions simmer between trade unions and the Thatcher government. In part two we meet Hugo Lamb, a young Cambridge lad who is working, stealing and conniving his way up the socioeconomic ladder. As Hugo heads to the Alps for a skiing vacation, his father marvels at how globalization is shrinking the world. Part three sees Ed Brubeck, an Iraq war reporter, home for a family wedding in Ireland and struggling to politely respond to his in-laws’ ignorant remarks about his work, and to convey some sense of the tangled complexities and social and environmental contexts of war. In part four, Mitchell goes a bit meta, and introduces a melancholic author character, Crispin Hershey, who spends much of his story being lonely in crowds and struggling not to slip into oblivion. On a tour to promote his newest book (a flop), Hershey begrudgingly attends a round table asking “Can Literature Change the World?” While Hershey doesn’t stick around to hear the answers, Mitchell, I believe, offers his own response in the novel’s final two acts. Part five shifts us into the mystic as Marinus, one of the horologists, readies for battle and reflects on some of his/her past lives. When their bodies die, horologist re-awaken weeks later, somewhere at random in the world, in the body of a child who has just died. This construct calls to mind Rawls’ thought experiment, the Original Position, in which a just society is designed by those who do not know what their position will be within that society. Marinus recalls being re-born as a desperately impoverished young serf girl, and using her/his accumulated knowledge as power to climb out of poverty. Mitchell employs the horologists in another clever device. Just as the final battle is set to begin, the oldest horologist, Esther Little, awakens from a forty year “hiatus.” Her fellows catch her up on what she has missed in forty years, since 1984. She, and we, get quite the appalling recap:
Climate change is foreclosing the holocene era…inequality is truly pharaonic. The world’s 27 riches people own more wealth than the poorest 5 billion and people accept that as normal. On the brights side…you can now buy strawberries at Christmas” (Mitchell 500).
Through the perspective of beings who have seen empires rise and fall we, as readers, are able to zoom out from our own lives and reflect on the massive scale of disruption which has occured in a concentrated period of time. In the sixth and final act we find an elderly Holy Sykes raising her grandchildren in a post-oil, climate devastated future. Civilization as we have known it is unravelling. Mitchell achieves an interesting effect by positioning climate dystopia in the denouement. Following a climactic fifth act battle to oblivion between immortal beings, the shift to a climate ravaged future feels like a return to familiar and realistic ground. Sykes finds solace and hope in the way her granddaughter’s tiny mannerisms echo her own daughter’s, which echoed hers, and her mother before her. Sykes, reminiscent of a Shakespearean sonnet, reflects that “we live on, as long as there are people to live on in” (553). I believe Mitchell proposes that, like the horologists, our stories serve a memory function. Literature can change the world by collecting up wisdoms; by helping to expand our capacity for thinking long term, remembering deep pasts and gaining glimpses of possible futures; by offering a kind of immortality. While the Bone Clocks occasionally falls into some unpleasant and tired-out tropes, it does carry massive mainstream appeal. I expect that Mitchell will see this latest novel, like his previous Cloud Atlas, re-born as blockbuster film.
Ali Smith’s Autumn is the first novel in a “seasonal quartet.” The second, Winter, was just published in January 2018, and the others are soon to come. Smith considers her quartet a novel experiment; she is pushing to write fiction that is as contemporaneous as possible, while also remaining “very much about stratified, cyclic time” (Smith, “Interview”). Autumn disrupts chronological conventions, freely leaping across, shifting between, and drifting in and out of time. Autumn is a feminist, artful, and playfully inventive example of how climate change might be storied. Climate change is not the subject; it does not drive the action; it is not a metaphor, parable or tangent. Climate change is present in the colour palette, in the mood permeating the piece. It is an essence emerging as fragments of the story drift into layered place. Autumn is anchored in the cross-generational relationship between Elizabeth, born in 1984, and her neighbour and lifelong friend Daniel, born in 1915. In post-Brexit Britain, Elizabeth is “thirty-two years old, no-fixed-hours casual contract junior lecturer at a university in London, living the dream…if the dream means having no job security and almost everything being too expensive to do” (Smith 15). She is temporarily living with her mom, in her childhood home, to be closer to Daniel. He is now over a hundred years old, and has entered the “increased sleep period” which often presages death. Autumn sweeps us back and forth in time to visit some of the memories Daniel and Elizabeth hold, and some they have long forgotten. While Elizabeth reads to a sleeping Daniel, we visit both of their dreams.
Smith paints with words, sometimes in freely flowing, associative streams of consciousness and playful punning, sometimes in poetry, or in dry and darkly witty dialogue. She assembles images in a layered piecework of thematic collage: a WWI pillbox falling into the ocean as the coast erodes, a house graffitied with the message “Go Home”, an electric security fence erected in the countryside, a rose in full bloom in the dreary drizzle of November. She dapples in Dickens, Huxley, Shakespeare, Keats, and Ovid. The structure and style of Smith’s novel reference the work of British Pop-Artist Pauline Boty, who becomes a central figure in the story. Daniel impresses upon a young Elizabeth that collage is “an institute of education where all the rules can be thrown into the air, and size and space and time and foreground and background all become relative, and because of these skills everything you think you know gets made into something new and strange” (Smith 72).
Autumn is about hope, melancholy and nostalgia. It muses about how art not only reflects but crafts our understanding of the world and, particularly, the power of stories and our responsibilities to them. Daniel teaches Elizabeth that “whoever makes up the story makes up the world…so always try to welcome people into the home of your story” (Smith 119). Autumn, finally, is a beautiful love story subverting those conventions which so often circumscribe who and how we love.
Finally, while we are on the subject of time, in “Literature and the Environment” Peter Timmerman traces the ways in which cosmological understandings of our place in the universe, and the myths flowing into and out of them, have shifted slowly over hundreds of years (2002). What, then, are our expectations and hopes for stories today? Do we want our stories to urge along new ontologies, and will that even be possible in our own lifetimes? Instead of reflecting from a distant future on how our myths were shaped and shifted, are we able now to intuit and influence that shift while it happens? Acknowledging the power of story and metaphor to shape how we live and act in the world, and recognizing how some of our old stories have lead us into this climate mess, how do we set out to tell better ones?
A look at the publishing dates of texts assembled here reveals an interesting general trend beginning in the last two to three years. Cli-Fi appears to be shifting away from its future focus toward stories set in the present and, even more recently, toward stories which skip across or spin within many different times. Perhaps this marks a response to reformist calls, both within and without the burgeoning genre, for stories to get beyond anthropocentric, linear narratives of progress and growth, and to approach a deeply relational comprehension of our lives and actions, situated in the context of vast scales of times. The world as we have known it is already changed; whatever mitigating actions we may or may not take, our world will continue to warm and transform. In facing this altered reality, authors seem to be shifting away from stories of future apocalypse, and turning to metaphor or magic to grapple with the anxieties, uncertainty and unsettling disruption of a climate changed now. There are also fascinating works (fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays) which disrupt narrative convention and linear time; which take apart old myths and trouble familiar metaphor. What are the stories that might help anchor us, in collective effort, to face the realities of a climate changed and changing world, and find the best ways forward together.
Admussen, Nick. Six Proposals for the Reform of Literature in the Age of Climate Change.
The Critical Flame: A Journal of Literature and Culture, 2016. Here.
Atwood, Margaret. “Margaret Atwood: The Road to Ustopia.” The Guardian, 2011. Here.
Bloom, Daniel. “Introduction.” Cli-Fi Report Global, 2018. Web. Here.
Bloom, Daniel. “Finitude, by Hamish MacDonald: A Climate Change Adventure Novel.” Cli-Fi, 13 April 2009. Here.
Bradley, James. Interviewed by Caspar Henderson. “James Bradley Recommends the Best Climate Change Fiction.” Nature and Environment, Five Books, 2017. Here.
Call, Christy. “Literary Exposures for an Ecological Age,” The Goose, vol. 16, no. 1(35), 2017. Here.
Christensen, Jon. “Climate Doom and Gloom? Bring It On. But We Need Stories About Taking Action Too.” The Conversation, 8 August 2017. Here.
Dixon, Guy. “New documentary recounts bizarre climate changes seen by Inuit elders.” The Globe and Mail, 19 Oct 2010, updated 26 March 2017. Here.
Falconer, Delia. “The Opposite of Glamour.” Sydney Review of Books, July 2016.
Foyster, Greg. “How Artists Can Rewrite the Climate Story.” Environment, Eureka Street, 7 Nov. 2017. Here.
Ghosh, Amitav. The Great Derangement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.
Gleeson-White, Jane. “Going Viral: The Swan Book by Alex Wright.” Sydney Review of Books, 23 August 2013. Here.
Haraway, Donna. Staying With the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2016.
King, Thomas. The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative. Toronto: House of Anansi Press Inc., 2003.
Kingsnorth, Paul and Dougald Hine. “Uncivilization: The Dark Mountain Manifesto.” The Dark Mountain Project, 2009. Here.
Leikam, Susanne, and Julia Leyda. “Cli-Fi in American Studies: A Research Bibliography.” American Studies Journal vol. 62, 2017. Accessed 27 Oct. 2017. Here.
“Magic Realism.” Def. 1. OED Online. Oxford University Press, January 2018.
Mann, Michael. Interview with Chris Mooney. “Scientists Challenge Magazine Story About ‘Uninhabitable Earth’.” The Washington Post, 12 July 2017. Here.
Mark, Jason. “Fear Factor: A Defense of NEW YORK’s Climate Doom Cover Story.” Sierra, The Sierra Club, 14 July 2017. Here.
Mitchell, David. The Bone Clocks. Toronto, Canada: Knopf Canada, 2014.
Painter, James. “Doom and Gloom Won’t Do It: Here’s How to Sell the Climate Change Message.” The Conversation, 22 Sept. 2014. Here.
Smith, Ali. Autumn. New York: Pantheon Books, 2016.
Smith, Ali. Interviewed by Eric Karl Anderson. “Ali Smith on Autumn, Brexit, and the Shortness of Life.” Penguin UK, n.d. Web. Accessed 18 Jan 2018. Here.
subMedia. “Trouble #7: No Permission Needed.” subMedia.tv, 2017. Accessed 16 Nov 2017. Here.
Timmerman, Peter. “Literature and the Environment.” Social and Economic Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, Volume 5 (ed. P. Timmerman), Encyclopaedia of Global Environmental Change (gen. ed. R.E. Munn). London: John Wiley and Sons, 2002.
Trexler, Adam. “Introduction: Contextualizing the Climate Change Novel.” Anthropocene Fictions: The Novel in a Time of Climate Change. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015.
Wallace-Wells, David. “The Uninhabitable Earth.” NEW YORK, 9 July 2017. Here.