Tales of two planets Stories of climate change and inequality in a divided world

Book - 2020

"Building from his acclaimed anthology Tales of Two Americas, beloved writer and editor John Freeman draws together some of our greatest writers from around the world to help us see how the environmental crisis is hitting some of the most vulnerable communities where they live. In the past five years, John Freeman, previously editor of Granta, has launched a celebrated international literary magazine, Freeman's, and compiled two acclaimed anthologies that deal with income inequality as... it is experienced, first in New York and then throughout the United States. In the course of this work, one major theme has come up repeatedly: how climate change is making already dire inequalities much worse, devastating further the already devastated. The effects of global warming are especially disruptive in less well-off nations, sending refugees to the US and elsewhere in the wealthier world, where they often encounter the problems that perennially face outsiders: lack of access to education, health care, decent housing, employment, and even basic nutrition. But the problems of climate change are not restricted to those from the less developed world. American citizens are suffering too, as the stories of distress resulting from recent hurricanes testify: People who can't sell their home because the building is on a flood plain, people who get displaced and cannot find work, and more. And this doesn't even take on board the situation in much of the Caribbean, or south of the Rio Grande in Mexico and Central America. Galvanized by his conversations with writers and activists around the world, Freeman has engaged with some of today's most eloquent writers, many of whom hail from the places under the most acute stress. The response has been extraordinary: a literary all-points bulletin of fiction, essays, poems, and reportage. Margaret Atwood conjures with a dystopian future in three remarkable poems. Lauren Groff takes us to Florida; Edwidge Danticat to Haiti; Tahmima Anim to Bangladesh. Valeria Luiselli probes the refugee crisis at the US-Mexico border, while Tash Aw takes us to Indonesia, Chinelo Okparanta to Nigeria, and Arundhati Roy to India. As the anthology unfolds, clichés fall away and we are brought closer to the real, human truth of what is happening to our world, and the dystopia to which we are heading. These are news stories with the emphasis on story, about events that should be found in the headlines but often are not, about the most important crisis of our times. LITERATURE'S BIGGEST STARS: TALES OF TWO PLANETS features work from some of the most important writers working today including Arundhati Roy, Edwidge Danticat, Margaret Atwood, and Lauren Groff. NEW WORK, NEW VOICES: All but two of the pieces in this collection of fiction, essays, and poems were commissioned by John Freeman exclusively for this book, and he presents some of the world's most exciting young voices including Daisy Johnson, Valeria Luiselli, Kayo Chingonyi, and Sayaka Murata. A GLOBAL VIEW OF OUR EXISTENTIAL CRISIS: Freeman brings together an international cast of brilliant writers to give readers a globe-spanning view of the climate crisis. Whether it's Sayaka Murata in Japan, Sjon in Iceland, Yasmine El Rashidi in Egypt, or Eka Kurniawan in Indonesia, we get an exhilarating range of experiences"--

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Subjects
Genres
Short stories
Poetry
Essays
Published
New York : Penguin Books 2020.
Language
English
Item Description
Published by arrangement with OR Books LLC, New York, 2020.
Physical Description
xxv, 290 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780143133926
0143133926
  • N64 35.378, W16 44.691 /
  • Andri Snær Magnason
  • Drowning in reverse /
  • Anuradha Roy
  • Tracking the rain /
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Riachuelo /
  • Mariana Enriquez
  • Dusk /
  • Lauren Groff
  • From Teotwawki /
  • Lars Skinnebach
  • Survival /
  • Sayaka Murata
  • The astronomical cost of clean air in Bangkok /
  • Pitchaya Sudbanthad
  • A downward slope /
  • Juan Miguel Álvarez
  • The floods /
  • Mohammed Hanif
  • Born stranger /
  • Burhan Sönmez
  • In this phase in the 58th American presidentiad (United States) /
  • Lawrence Joseph
  • The storytellers of the Earth /
  • Sulaiman Addonia
  • The house of Osiris /
  • Yasmine El Rashidi
  • A calypso /
  • Khaled Mattawa
  • Cavern /
  • Chinelo Okparanta
  • The unfortunate place /
  • Daisy Johnson
  • The funniest shit you ever heard /
  • Lina Mounzer
  • Machandiz /
  • Edwidge Danticat
  • Recording is his priority: on the photographs of Lu Guang /
  • Ian Teh
  • El lago /
  • Eduardo Halfon
  • The song of the fireflies /
  • Gaël Faye
  • The rains /
  • Ligaya Mishan
  • The well /
  • Eka Kurniawan
  • A blue Mormon finds himself among common emigrants /
  • Tishani Doshi
  • Falling river, concrete city /
  • Billy Kahora
  • Spring in Wadi Delab, the valley of the (absent) plane tree /
  • Raja Shehadeh and Penny Johnson
  • That house /
  • Tayi Tibble
  • Hawaiki /
  • Tayi Tibble
  • Bruno /
  • Aminatta Forna
  • Sick world /
  • Diego Enrique Osorno
  • The psychopaths /
  • Joy Williams
  • Coral watch /
  • Ishion Hutchinson
  • On the organic diversity of literature: notes from my little astrophysical observatory /
  • Sjón
  • The imperiled /
  • Krys Lee.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Critic, poet, and editor of conscience Freeman presents his third "Tales of Two" anthology, each a leap up in scale from a focus on New York City to Tales of Two Americas (2017) to this gathering of essays, stories, and poems by 35 writers around the world expressing what it feels like to live with the mounting casualties of pollution, extinction, and climate change. Mariana Enriquez tells the story of Riachuelo, a poisoned river in Argentina. Mohammed Hanif contemplates the millions of overlooked Pakistanis displaced by floods. Eritrean refugee Sulaiman Addonia observes: "Refugees and the earth face the same marginalization, the same neglect, the same abuse." Andri Snær Magnason charts the disappearance of glaciers in Iceland; Anuradha Roy considers the shrinking ice in the Himalayas, the source of water for millions. Futuristic tales by Pitchaya Sudbanthad and Sayaka Murata envision the elite cocooned from environmental ravages. Lauren Groff's Florida story reckons with wastefulness and the vulnerability of the wild. Edwidge Danticat writes of toxic governmental corruption and a trash-fouled Haitian beach. Joy Williams protests ecocidal big-game hunting; Gaël Faye mourns lost forests and fireflies in Burundi. Yoked environmental and humanitarian crises in Egypt, Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and beyond are brought forward in masterful works elegiac, angry, and ironic in Freeman's clarion global chorus. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

This anthology showcases personal responses to climate change through literature. Freeman (Tales of Two Americas) has collected 36 reports, essays, poems, and stories from writers such as Margaret Atwood, Lauren Groff, Edwidge Danticat, Mohammed Hanif, Tahmima Anam, Eka Kurniawan, and Chinelo Okparanta. Many of the articles in this varied anthology recall childhood play in remnants of wild landscapes, now erased by settlements or reduced to wasteland. The disruptive effects of unstable weather patterns are also a recurring theme. Most pieces take place in the present, though two stories inhabit a dystopian near future. In his introduction, Freeman predicts 300 million climate refugees will be on the move by the end of the century. While sadness and anger are prevalent moods, there is also dark humor. Aminatta Forna's essay "Bruno" describes how a long-captive chimpanzee led an escape of his troop from a fenced sanctuary for endangered wildlife, becoming a folk hero in Sierra Leone. VERDICT This work will suit readers curious about the long-standing and wide-ranging effects of climate change, as lived and experienced by writers around the world.—David R. Conn, formerly with Surrey Libs., BC Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A follow-up to Tales of Two Americas gathers contributions from some of today’s most accomplished international writers to illustrate the cause-and-effect impact of the environmental crisis on some of today’s most vulnerable communities. (literary collections). Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A follow-up to Tales of Two Americas gathers contributions from some of today's most accomplished international writers to illustrate the cause-and-effect impact of the environmental crisis on some of today's most vulnerable communities.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Building from his acclaimed anthology Tales of Two Americas, beloved writer and editor John Freeman draws together a group of our greatest writers from around the world to help us see how the environmental crisis is hitting some of the most vulnerable communities where they live.In the past five years, John Freeman, previously editor of Granta, has launched a celebrated international literary magazine, Freeman's, and compiled two acclaimed anthologies that deal with income inequality as it is experienced. In the course of this work, one major theme came up repeatedly: Climate change is making already dire inequalities much worse, devastating further the already devastated. But the problems of climate change are not restricted to those from the less developed world.Galvanized by his conversations with writers and activists around the world, Freeman engaged with some of today's most eloquent storytellers, many of whom hail from the places under the most acute stress--from the capital of Burundi to Bangkok, Thailand. The response has been extraordinary. Margaret Atwood conjures with a dys¬topian future in a remarkable poem. Lauren Groff whisks us to Florida; Edwidge Danticat to Haiti; Tahmima Anam to Bangladesh; Yasmine El Rashidi to Egypt, while Eka Kurniawan brings us to Indonesia, Chinelo Okparanta to Nigeria, and Anuradha Roy to the Himalayas in the wake of floods, dam building, and drought. This is a literary all-points bulletin of fiction, essays, poems, and reportage about the most important crisis of our times.