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Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable

by Amitav Ghosh University of Chicago Press
Pub Date:
07/2017
ISBN:
9780226526812
Format:
Pbk 176 pages
Price:
AU$29.99 NZ$31.30
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability - at the level of literature, history, and politics - to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.


 


The extreme nature of today's climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements.


 


Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence - a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer's summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.  
“Ghosh is one of the most important living writers writing in English.”
(Los Angeles Review of Books)
“On very rare occasions, a writer marshals such searing insight and storytelling skill that even a well trodden subject is blown wide open. New connections are made, new futures appear. Ghosh is that kind of writer, and this is that kind of book.”
(Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything)
Amitav Ghosh is an award-winning novelist and essayist whose books include The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique Land, Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, and the Ibis Trilogy: Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, and  Flood of Fire.