The World as We Knew It, Edited by Amy Brady and Tajja Isen

Staff Pick

To counter the overwhelming nature of climate change, Brady and Isen sought to map ”connection[s] between the personal and the planetary” by asking 19 writers to chronicle what's affected them most in this turbulent time so far. With names including Lydia Millet, Omar El Akkad, and Lidia Yuknavitch, the anthology meets high standards of range and literary quality. Starting with the unbreathable air of Bangkok, examining the long shadows of hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, et al,  and ending with revelations of melting Arctic permafrost as astounding—a prehistoric wolf cub--as they are chilling—potential new viruses—these vivid essays offer urgent glimpses of what no one is prepared for, whether it’s getting through Wisconsin winters of snow so heavy it “felt like the world was caving in,” or climbing a flooded Sierra Nevada where “a mistake could kill you,” or, an insistent theme, struggling with whether to bring children into all this and what to tell them if you do, since there’s “no playbook for parenting in the apocalypse.”

 

The World As We Knew It: Dispatches From a Changing Climate Cover Image
By Amy Brady (Editor), Tajja Isen (Editor)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781646220304
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Catapult - June 14th, 2022

The Life and Death of a MInke Whale in the Amazon, by Fabio Zuker

Staff Pick

Zuker’s urgent dispatches chronicle the myriad threats to the Amazon rainforest—extraction industries, the monocultures of soy and rice, political instability, climate change—and, through his deeply reported and compassionate portraits of Indigenous peoples, suggest how the destruction of this complex natural ecosystem negatively impacts all of humanity. These themes are treated especially powerfully in the moving title essay, which follows the plight of a whale stranded some 1000 miles from the Atlantic and the efforts of the riverside communities—which also face displacement—to save it. Zuker’s writing in this vital testimony to the ravages of capitalism and the escalation of threats to the Indigenous under Bolsonaro is often heartbreakingly beautiful, throwing into relief how an attack on nature is also an attack on the native peoples, who from time immemorial have known that “plants make worlds. They are creators of realities,” and have fostered “a true sphere of kinship with the vegetation around them.”

The Life and Death of a Minke Whale in the Amazon: Dispatches from the Brazilian Rainforest Cover Image
By Fábio Zuker, Ezra Fitz (Translator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9781571311818
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Milkweed Editions - June 7th, 2022

Warmth, by Daniel Sherrell

Staff Pick

As other writers have recently done, Sherrell homes in on troubling issues by framing his timely book around a letter to an unborn child. In this case the issue is climate change and the child is a real question. As Sherrell, an activist with NY Renews, struggles to determine what he “owe[s]” a future family, he turns the Problem—as he calls it throughout this deeply felt and uneasy meditation—from every conceivable angle; starting with the powerful account of a man whose self-immolation caused the briefest flutter in attention to that Problem, he examines his own growing up in a changing world; the anachronistic connection of young children to stuffed figures of animals they may never actually see; the troublesome term “environmentalist,” which he feels shows “the cheapening of a god into a religion”; the anniversary of Katrina as a model for commemoration of those lost to climate, where loss is perhaps salvaged if the moment of silence is viewed as “not the absence of sound but the presence of something that cannot be spoken”; and much more. Though feeling language is “plainly inadequate to any real consideration of the Problem,” Sherrell’s own often takes a lyrical bent, and he lavishes care and attention on describing the natural world, as if to make it—and us—linger here long enough so we can find a way through this unfathomable time.

 

Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143136538
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - August 3rd, 2021

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