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Is our imagination adequate to the realities of global warming? The novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that we need art and literature to help us imagine our future in the Anthropocene, but that they are falling short of the task. If culture cannot help us see the realities of our plight, then our era, which so congratulates itself on its self-awareness, may come to be known as the time of the Great Derangement. A case in point is fiction, which is so committed to normalcy and the everyday that it has no space for the improbability of climate change events the persistent droughts, hundred-year storms, and freakish tornadoes. Our politics, likewise, seems unable to mobilize forcefully in response to climate change. Ghosh argues that politics, like literature, has become a matter of individual moral reckoning, a journey of the solitary conscience 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. A powerful nonfiction work by one of our most gifted, historically attuned novelists, "The Great Derangement "brings a fresh urgency to thinking on climate change. "
A “concise and utterly enlightening” look at why we can’t wrap our minds around climate change (Publishers Weekly). Are we deranged? Award-winning essayist and novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? The Great Derangement 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 current modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable; they are automatically consigned to genres like science fiction. In the writing of history, too, the crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications, but the carbon economy is a tangled 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, and that limitation comes at 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, and “makes the case that climate solutions can’t be left to scientists, technocrats, and politicians” (Los Angeles Review of Books). “Perhaps the most penetrating cultural critic of a new age defined by climate change and the strange, inadequate, and often self-deluding ways we process its transformations in our storytelling.”—New York Magazine “Resistance to the grim realities of climate change is so widespread that the crisis barely figures in literary fiction, notes writer Amitav Ghosh…The solution, he argues, lies in collective action as well as scientific and governmental involvement.”—Nature
Are we deranged? One of India's greatest writers, Amitav Ghosh, argues that future generations may well think so. How else can we explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In this groundbreaking return to non-fiction, 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 makes them peculiarly resistant to the contemporary imagination. In fiction, hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel and are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications. Ghosh suggests that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit culture 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 forms. The Great Derangement serves as a brilliant writer's summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.
Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh
From the award-winning author of the bestselling epic Ibis trilogy comes a globetrotting, folkloric adventure novel about family and heritage. “With sweeping exuberant style and extraordinary linguistic facility, Ghosh takes us into a world where desperate refugees trickle through borders like water from melting ice, but where massing animals find no escapes. Old legends and ancient myths take on new meaning. The difficulties of characters in the Sundarbans begin to appear the world over as the climate becomes a forcing element. Our ordinary lives with air travel, cell phones, friends in distant places, smart-mouth teenagers, life insurance, money and investment concerns intersect with forest fire, flooding, storms. This important novel is an account of our current world, the one few writers have had the courage to face.” ―Annie Proulx, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction Bundook. Gun. A common word, but one which turns Deen Datta's world upside down. A dealer of rare books, Deen is used to a quiet life spent indoors, but as his once-solid beliefs begin to shift, he is forced to set out on an extraordinary journey; one that takes him from India to Los Angeles and Venice via a tangled route through the memories and experiences of those he meets along the way. There is Piya, a fellow Bengali-American who sets his journey in motion; Tipu, an entrepreneurial young man who opens Deen's eyes to the realities of growing up in today's world; Rafi, with his desperate attempt to help someone in need; and Cinta, an old friend who provides the missing link in the story they are all a part of. It is a journey which will upend everything he thought he knew about himself, about the Bengali legends of his childhood, and about the world around him. Gun Island is a beautifully realised novel which effortlessly spans space and time. It is the story of a world on the brink, of increasing displacement and unstoppable transition. But it is also a story of hope, of a man whose faith in the world and the future is restored by two remarkable women.
Dancing In Cambodia Other Essays by Amitav Ghosh
The Great Derangement by Matt Taibbi
A REVELATORY AND DARKLY COMIC ADVENTURE THROUGH A NATION ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN—FROM THE HALLS OF CONGRESS TO THE BASES OF BAGHDAD TO THE APOCALYPTIC CHURCHES OF THE HEARTLAND Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi set out to describe the nature of George Bush’s America in the post-9/11 era and ended up vomiting demons in an evangelical church in Texas, riding the streets of Baghdad in an American convoy to nowhere, searching for phantom fighter jets in Congress, and falling into the rabbit hole of the 9/11 Truth Movement. Matt discovered in his travels across the country that the resilient blue state/red state narrative of American politics had become irrelevant. A large and growing chunk of the American population was so turned off—or radicalized—by electoral chicanery, a spineless news media, and the increasingly blatant lies from our leaders (“they hate us for our freedom”) that they abandoned the political mainstream altogether. They joined what he calls The Great Derangement. Taibbi tells the story of this new American madness by inserting himself into four defining American subcultures: The Military, where he finds himself mired in the grotesque black comedy of the American occupation of Iraq; The System, where he follows the money-slicked path of legislation in Congress; The Resistance, where he doubles as chief public antagonist and undercover member of the passionately bonkers 9/11 Truth Movement; and The Church, where he infiltrates a politically influential apocalyptic mega-ministry in Texas and enters the lives of its desperate congregants. Together these four interwoven adventures paint a portrait of a nation dangerously out of touch with reality and desperately searching for answers in all the wrong places. Funny, smart, and a little bit heartbreaking, The Great Derangement is an audaciously reported, sobering, and illuminating portrait of America at the end of the Bush era.
Flood Of Fire by Amitav Ghosh
It is 1839 and tension has been rapidly mounting between China and British India following the crackdown on opium smuggling by Beijing. With no resolution in sight, the colonial government declares war. One of the vessels requisitioned for the attack, the Hind, travels eastwards from Bengal to China, sailing into the midst of the First Opium War. The turbulent voyage brings together a diverse group of travellers, each with their own agenda to pursue. Among them is Kesri Singh, a sepoy in the East India Company who leads a company of Indian sepoys; Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor searching for his lost love, and Shireen Modi, a determined widow en route to China to reclaim her opium-trader husband’s wealth and reputation. Flood of Fire follows a varied cast of characters from India to China, through the outbreak of the First Opium War and China’s devastating defeat, to Britain’s seizure of Hong Kong. Flood of Fire is a thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with verve. It is a beautiful novel in its own right, and a compelling conclusion to an epic and sweeping story – it is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Incendiary Circumstances by Amitav Ghosh
The author reminisces on the past thiry years of his life, providing eyewitness accounts and reflections on some of the most turbulent events of his time, including the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the Pol Pot massacres of Cambodia, and September 11th.
Polysituatedness by John Kinsella
This book is concerned with the complexities of defining 'place', of observing and 'seeing' place, and how we might write a poetics of place. From Kathy Acker to indigenous Australian poet Jack Davis, the book touches on other writers and theorists, but in essence is a hands-on 'praxis' book of poetic practice. The work extends John Kinsella's theory of 'international regionalism' and posits new ways of reading the relationship between place and individual, between individual and the natural environment, and how place occupies the person as much as the person occupies place. It provides alternative readings of writers through place and space, especially Australian writers, but also non-Australian. Further, close consideration is given to being of 'famine-migrant' Irish heritage and the complexities of 'returning'. A close-up examination of 'belonging' and exclusion is made on a day-to-day basis. The book offers an approach to creating poems and literary texts constituted by experiencing multiple places, developing a model of polyvalent belonging known as 'polysituatedness'. It works as a companion volume to Kinsella's earlier Manchester University Press critical work, Disclosed Poetics: Beyond Landscape to Lyricism.
In An Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh
Once upon a time an Indian writer named Amitav Ghosh set out an Indian slave, name unknown, who some seven hundred years before had traveled to the Middle East. The journey took him to a small village in Egypt, where medieval customs coexist with twentieth-century desires and discontents. But even as Ghosh sought to re-create the life of his Indian predecessor, he found himself immersed in those of his modern Egyptian neighbors. Combining shrewd observations with painstaking historical research, Ghosh serves up skeptics and holy men, merchants and sorcerers. Some of these figures are real, some only imagined, but all emerge as vividly as the characters in a great novel. In an Antique Land is an inspired work that transcends genres as deftly as it does eras, weaving an entrancing and intoxicating spell.