By Wendy Condrat
Trees that communicate, cities and world capitals inundated by rising seas, words of a more hopeful future for our planet: these are some subjects in the newest genres that deal with the looming existential threat of climate change.
As scientists, world organizations, and activists sound the alarm against inaction, a new crop of writers have sought to depict a future world if humans don’t do something.
In Pitchaya Sudbenthad’s “Bangkok Wakes to Ruin,” where Thailand’s capital city lies in ruins after it is submerged under water, the author relates: “As the climate crisis becomes more apparently urgent, related narratives become even more necessary as a mirror that both reflects and warns.”
Here are other current recommended fictional reads which illustrate our current and future world crisis.
“Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell; “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler; “Gold Fame Citrus” by Claire Vaye Watkins”; and “The Overstory “ by Richard Powers.
In non-fiction, “books about social and ecological change too often leave out a vital component: how do we change ourselves so that we are fully strong enough to fully contribute to this great shift? Naomi Klein states that “Active Hope” fills this gap beautifully, guiding readers on a journey of gratitude, grief, interconnection and, ultimately, transformation.
Joanna Macy, esteemed ecophilosopher, and author of inspirational reads such as “The Work That Reconnects “ and “Active Hope – How to Face This Mess We’re in without Going Crazy”, offers a guide and a process to equip us to “face this mess … in The Great Turning to a life-sustaining society.
Joanna Macy offers readers hope in a world that many will find redemptive and filled with promise and could serve our congregation and all readers as a tool for ongoing discussions towards healing.