The World As We Knew It

Dispatches From a Changing Climate


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9781646220304 | Paperback 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | 288 pages Buy it Now

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Book Description

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.

About the Authors

Praise For This Book

"Inspiring" —Library Journal

"Striking . . . A startling collection of 19 essays documenting the impact of climate change at the individual level, by a geographically diverse group of writers." —Shelf Awareness

"With contributions from Alexandra Kleeman, Kim Stanley Robinson, Omar El Akkad, Melissa Febos, and many others, this book offers input from some of our most inventive and exciting contemporary essayists on our rapidly changing world." —Corinne Segal, Lit Hub, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year

"[A] powerful collection . . . The pieces create a moving mix of resolve and sorrow, painting a vivid picture of an era in which 'climate change is altering life on Earth at an unprecedented rate,' but 'the majority of us can still remember when things were more stable.' The result is a poignant ode to a changing planet." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"In focusing on how climatic shifts have been felt, mourned, and protested, this essay collection, edited by Brady and Isen, sketches an ecological transition point for humanity: a moment when older adults can recall a more secure past but not avoid confronting an increasingly ominous and insecure future . . . 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

"From the desert of Arizona to the waters of Dominica and the Nile, from the glaciers of Antarctica to the streets of Bangkok and New Orleans, The World As We Knew It: Dispatches from a Changing Climate is a dazzling and terrifying array of real-life parables about the way the changing climate is changing our lives. These brilliant thinkers and futurists boldly share their fears, and, perhaps even more daringly, their hopes. Part diary of apocalypse, part celebration of all the small beauties under threat, The World As We Knew It is essential reading." —Helen Phillips, author of The Need

“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