Synopses & Reviews
Nineteen leading literary writers from around the globe offer timely, haunting first-person reflections on how climate change has altered their lives--including essays by Lydia Millet, Alexandra Kleeman, Kim Stanley Robinson, Omar El Akkad, Lidia Yuknavitch, Melissa Febos, and more.
In this riveting anthology, leading literary writers reflect on how climate change has altered their lives, revealing the personal and haunting consequences of this global threat.
In the opening essay, National Book Award finalist Lydia Millet mourns the end of the Saguaro cacti in her Arizona backyard due to drought. Later, Omar El Akkad contemplates how the rise of temperatures in the Middle East is destroying his home and the wellspring of his art. Gabrielle Bellot reflects on how a bizarre lionfish invasion devastated the coral reef near her home in the Caribbean — a precursor to even stranger events to come. Traveling through Nebraska, Terese Svoboda witnesses cougars running across highways and showing up in kindergartens.
As the stories unfold — from Antarctica to Australia, New Hampshire to New York — an intimate portrait of a climate-changed world emerges, captured by writers whose lives jostle against incongruous memories of familiar places that have been transformed in startling ways.
"Spanning the globe, from Antarctica to Qatar to Queensland, The World As We Knew It sometimes has the stark, clear sound of a fire lookout announcing flames, and in other moments, it has the intimate pace of a journal. We need both these registers and more, this important book reveals: clarity in urgency, depth in observation, if we stand a chance at making sense of the gargantuan changes we set in motion and our living through as a species." — John Freeman, author of The Park and editor of Tales of Two Planet
"The book presents a diverse portrait of environmental awareness and distress. A collection of testimonials, by turns disheartening and inspiring, on the radical climate transformations now well underway." — Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Tajja Isen is the author of Some of My Best Friends: Essays on Lip Service. She is an editor for Catapult Magazine and the former digital editor at The Walrus. Also a voice actor, Tajja can be heard on such animated shows as The Berenstain Bears, Atomic Betty, and Go Dog Go, among others.
Amy Brady is the Executive Director of Orion. She is also the author of a cultural history of ice in America and the former Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Review of Books. She holds a PhD in literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has won writing and research awards from the National Science Foundation, the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference, and the Library of Congress.