By Jenni Fagan
272 pp. Hogarth. US$26.
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There's much to contemplate in this "made in India"
flare to the world, but it's written in
an easy-to-digest style
East or West
,we are all in this together now.
longtime Indian climate activist living in New Zealand, Ghosh's distinctive approach of speaking truth to power packs a punch.
"Coming from a leading Indian author who is widely-read in the West, this book will likely have a major impact in shining a spotlight on global warming issues before a much wider audience," he
told this blog in a recent email. "In addition, a book such as this has the potential to bring together the stories of global warming and climate change from a combination of Indian, South Asian and Western perspectives. So it's invaluable in bridging the gap among nations and why I think the essays need a global audience beyond the India edition."
Originally commissioned by the University of Chicago Press, the essays will be published in a U.S. edition in September with a slightly different cover for Western readers. Until then, the book is in India's hands this summer and is getting plaudits left and right in dozens of the country's newspapers and magazines.
Ghosh, in his 60s with a handsome shock of white hair gracing a usually smiling face, is married to the American writer Deborah Baker. The couple have two grown children and live part of the year in New York and part of the year in India.
With "The Great Derangement," Ghosh has shown himself to be an international climate activist of the literary kind, fearless in attacking both "the powers that be" in his own country and the "business as usual" mantra of the West.
How the book will be received in North America in the fall will be critical in breaking through the fog of climate denialism.
In India, where climate denialists don't actually exist, Ghosh's book has been received with high praise. However, in America and Britain, where denialists are legion and have spit on the truth with unbridled, deranged venom for years, it might be a different story.
Someone might even write a 'cli-fi' novel one day about this "great derangement." It could be explosive.