The world eco-fiction series travels the planet exploring fictional stories dealing with very real climate-change and other environmental concerns. If you like this series, check out our article at Medium, “Around the World in 80 Books: A Guide to Ecological and Climate Themes in Fiction“! These spotlights are being rerun in Artists and Climate Change’s Wild Author articles.
Series author, Mary Woodbury
Series dates: October 2016 – ongoing
Original series–October 2016 – April 2019: Jeff VanderMeer | Margaret Atwood | Nathaniel Rich | Emmi Itäranta | Kim Stanley Robinson | Ursula K. Le Guin | Ali Smith | Peter Heller | John Atcheson | Jo Marshall | Brian Burt | Barbara Kingsolver | Susan M. Gaines | Morgan Nyberg | Review and Writing Tips | Clara Hume | Paolo Bacigalupi | Jaimee Wriston Colbert | Kathleen Dean Moore | John KixMiller and Team | Writers & Big Oil | Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar | Marian Womack | Octavia Butler | Chantal Bilodeau | Marissa Slaven | Edan Lepucki | James Bradley | Ned Tillman | D.G. Driver | Brian Adams | Newer combined series–May 2018 -ongoing: Fábio Fernandes (Portugal, Brazil) | Edward Stanton (Chilean Islands) | Evie Gaughan (Ireland) | Renato Redentor Constantino (Philippines) | Emin Madi (Borneo) | Marian Womack (Spain) | Rajat Chaudhuri (India, Korea, UK, China) | Ilija Trojanow (Antarctica) | Jennifer Dance (Canadian oil sands) | Anna Burke (West Indies) | Deon Meyer (South Africa) | Rick Hodges (Kenya) | Loranne Vella (Malta) | Nancy Burke (Brazil) | Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan) | Helon Habila (Niger Delta) | Sita Brahmachari (everyland/Greece) | Gila Green (YA, South Africa) | Katy Yocum (India)
Note: The original climate change author spotlight series began October 9, 2016. The newer world fiction series began in May 2018. Starting in May 2019, these two series were blended into the “World Eco-fiction Series: Climate Change and Beyond” and will continue indefinitely.
World Literature Map
Click the sunflowers to travel with us! Move the map around to see all locations. The map covers only spotlights from May 2018 onward.
In light of world literature/global fiction, I began a new series (in March 2018) on eco-themed world fiction. I’ve been enjoying Adam Kirsch’s The Global Novel: Writing the World in the 21st Century. The Columbia Global Reports says of the book:
Acclaimed literary critic Adam Kirsch examines some of our most beloved writers, including Haruki Murakami, Elena Ferrante, Roberto Bolaño, and Margaret Atwood, to better understand literature in the age of globalization. The global novel, he finds, is not so much a genre as a way of imagining the world, one that allows the novel to address both urgent contemporary concerns—climate change, genetic engineering, and immigration—along with timeless themes, such as morality, society, and human relationships. Whether its stories take place on the scale of the species or the small town, the global novel situates its characters against the widest background of the imagination. The way we live now demands nothing less than the global perspective our best novelists have to offer.
In research, I often come across events around the world that deal with eco-literature–such as India’s eco-fiction book fair in 2017, France’s Ecofiction Festival, the Portuguese Solarpunk Anthology by Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro–and so many more. Whereas I have had a monthly spotlight of authors who tackle climate change in their novels, I have also featured novels in the database that are set in, or written by, authors from around the world. Examples include stories from Finland, Taiwan, Philippines, Ireland, Australia, France, England, India, Japan, China, Spain, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Sudan, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, New Zealand–every continent is found in the database. Still, the majority of novels discussed in modern media seem to be set in North America or Europe, and not enough media attention has been placed on the global novel in the sense of world eco-literature. I want to change this.
In the mindset of this idea, at the start of January 2018, I added a translate button, hoping to expand readership and raise aware of climate change and other environmental issues in fiction, particularly in written works (though there is also a small film database at the main site).
In his book, Kirsch states:
The global novel exists, not as a genre separated from and opposed to other kinds of fiction, but as a perspective that governs the interpretation of experience. In this way, it is faithful to the way the global is actually lived–not through the abolition of place, but as a theme by which place is mediated. Life lived here is experienced in its profound and often unsettling connections with life lived elsewhere, and everywhere. The local gains dignity, and significance, insofar as it can be seen as a part of a worldwide phenomenon.