Is All Fiction Climate Fiction?

Is All Fiction Climate Fiction?

Catherine Bush argues all fiction is climate fiction.
Climate Change? The view of the iceberg from Ferryland on Newfoundland’s Southern Shore on Sunday. (Submitted by Jo-d Martin/Facebook). Photo originally published by CBC.

In an essay titled, Writing the Real, Catherine Bush writes: “Literature is an art of navigating between presences and absences, making the usually unseen visible and reversing disappearances large and small. Yet writers also leave traces of unacknowledged absences for others to notice. Whether or not it is on the page, the climate crisis imparts meaning: its presence or absence denotes something.” (Canadian Notes and Queries, Special Issue: Writing in the Age of Unravelling, Winter 2020)

Bush is the author of five novels, including Blaze Island (2020). The book was inspired by Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest, and follows a father-daughter relationship on a fictionalized wind-swept remote Canadian island. The novel asks: How do you imagine a tomorrow when the present seems, whichever way you look, to be hovering on the brink of catastrophe? The novel follows a passionate climate scientist who experiments with weather engineering. This in turn raises larger questions about interfering with nature and the harm or good that may result.

Catherine joined us in the Feminist Enterprise Commons in October 2020 on The Fine Print, an author conversation series with contemporary feminist authors hosted and produced by Lana Pesch.

The show had a special bonus guest, Elizabeth Bush—yes, Catherine’s sister—who has worked at Environment and Climate Change for about twenty years. The sisters discussed our changing climate, what it will take to lessen our impact on the environment, and how Catherine personified the climate crisis in her novel.

Read an excerpt from Blaze Island here by Catherine Bush © 2020. All rights reserved. Published by Goose Lane Editions.

And check out Elizabeth’s work in a major report called Canada’s Changing Climate Report which is available online to the public at changingclimate.ca. Elizabeth hopes that the report and the user friendly website for disseminating results will help contribute to the conversation among Canadians about climate change.

Related Reading

Fuel The Movement

Creating informed and inspirational content to support feminist changemaking takes hundreds of hours each month. If you find value and nourishment here, please consider becoming a donor subscriber or patron at a level of your choosing. Priced between a cup of coffee or one take out salad per month.
Lana Pesch

Lana Pesch

Lana is a writer, creative producer, and story editor who has produced and directed countless videos ranging in subject matter from butter tarts to bionic hands, to her own book trailer.  She grew up in Saskatchewan and has also lived in Banff, Montreal, and on a kibbutz. Her debut short story collection, Moving Parts (Arsenal Pulp Press) was published in October 2015.
Lana Pesch

Lana Pesch

Lana is a writer, creative producer, and story editor who has produced and directed countless videos ranging in subject matter from butter tarts to bionic hands, to her own book trailer.  She grew up in Saskatchewan and has also lived in Banff, Montreal, and on a kibbutz. Her debut short story collection, Moving Parts (Arsenal Pulp Press) was published in October 2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

¤

Field Notes for Feminist Change Makers

LiisBeth Media is a womxn-led and owned indie enterprise which is surveillance free, ad free and supported by reader donations. If you found this article of value, please consider a $10 one time donation. Help us continue to amplify feminist voices and ideas in times when these voices are needed.