“Climate change is happening right now and the literary world needs to step up its game”. Author Amitav Ghosh discussing with
[The release of ''Gun Island,'' the new debut cli-fi novel by Amitav Ghosh, is still a few months away, with a June 2019 pub date, but curiosity about it is already running high. His first work of fiction after ''The Ibis Trilogy,'' the last of which, ''Floods of Fire,'' was published in 2015, the new novel follows a rare book dealer on in an extraordinary journey of discovery across the world.]
Here's Dr Ghosh taling about the climate change risk challenges that exceed all land and continental boundaries:
''The crisis we are experiencing today, according to Amitavji, goes deeper than just inequality, global warming, or the power of the populist politicians. We mainly have a imagination crisis. Our inability to grasp the global climate crisis in its totality is really the biggest crisis of our time. We simply do not seem to be able to understand that the comfortable climate we have lived in for so long can drastically change in a significant amount of time. And that is a problem, because if we cannot even imagine this future, how can we act collectively?''
That is why he has thrown his new cli-fi novel into the ring, and GUN ISLAND will be one explosive novel come June July and September. The writer who once complained that he didn't care for genre fiction, be it sci fi or cli-fi has now come forward and joined forces with other cli-fi novelists in 2019.
According to Dr Ghosh that is exactly where novelists need to step in. They must help people broaden their horizons, to create new links and to offer new perspectives. Otherwise our gaze remains too narrow and limited. But how do you make the global climate crisis, a problem where environment, politics and economy come together, more tangible? And how do you approach an individual citizen with such a large, abstract and global story?
you write or read a cli-fi novel.
Dr Ghosh has spoken out about the need for a collective effort that will be needed to make an impact on climate change. However, he says we should not discount individual efforts.
''I don’t think one should discount individual efforts, and certainly it is an important thing. If somebody feels they should do it, there’s certainly a point to it. But at a macro level, individual efforts will make very little difference, we know that. Compared to what is needed, how you change your light bulb is not going to make much difference. Often, individual efforts have the wrong effect. “Well, I have changed this bulb so I can put in two bulbs.” In the end, these have to be policy decisions, we can’t all individually set out to remake the planet.''
A world traveller by jet and train and bus, where does Dr Ghosh feel most at home?
''It’s hard to say actually (he laughs here), but I guess I would say I feel most at home where my family is, [which is Brooklyn, New York.]'' [His American wife the writer Deborah Baker and their two bi-racial bi-cultural adult children, a man and a woman who work in the financial industry in Mahattan, all live in New York.]