Recommended reading for World Environment Day | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 04, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:19 AM, June 04, 2020

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Recommended reading for World Environment Day

As Abida Chowdhury addresses in her piece on The Great Derangement, narratives that engage with the natural world are scarce. Here are some books, both fiction and non-fiction, that approach the subject with particular finesse.

HOW I BECAME A TREE,

Sumana Roy (2017)

Non-Fiction

Rattled by the violence and selfishness of humankind, Sumana Roy finds kinship in the rhythm of trees and their capacity to cope with loneliness. In the process, she explores with the philosophy present in Buddha, Tagore, Shakespeare, D H Lawrence, Indian folklore and Greek mythology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE OVERSTORY, Richard Powers (2018)

Fiction

Nine strangers, scattered across space and time, are impacted by trees before they unite to tackle deforestation. In a narrative form that spirals concentrically—like rings in trees—and prose that bristles with energy, plant life takes centre-stage in the novel, with humans, for a change, serving as side characters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEATHER, Jenny Offill (2020)

Fiction

In short, tight observations, university librarian Lizzie Benson looks out at climate change, healthcare systems, capitalism, and the funny, frustrating intricacies of family life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY SEDITIOUS HEART, Arundhati Roy (2019)

Non-Fiction

In essays spanning the last 20 years, Arundhati Roy calls out the appropriation of indigenous lands and poverty in India that is fostered by commercialisation, state hypocrisy, and the lingering remnants of imperialism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUN ISLAND, Amitav Ghosh (2019)

Fiction

Deen Dutta, dealer of rare books, travels from Kolkata to Los Angeles to Venice, uncovering legends of Bengal and raising conversations about displacement and the role of capitalism in climate change.

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