New publication: Ecocriticism and Jim Crace’s Early Novels

At the end of October, Jim Crace: Into the Wilderness, edited by Katy Shaw and Kate Aughterson, was published by Palgrave. It’s the first book focusing solely on Jim Crace’s novels, placing them in a broader context of philosophical, political and cultural debates. It includes essays on pastoral, gender and religion, and  focuses on Crace’sContinue reading “New publication: Ecocriticism and Jim Crace’s Early Novels”

New publication: Graham Swift’s Waterland, Ecocriticism and Narratology

This month my article on Graham Swift’s Waterland appeared in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. I’d been working on this article for a while, and benefited from the comments of an excellent peer reviewer, so I’m particularly pleased to see it published. A link to the free version of the article on the OxfordContinue reading “New publication: Graham Swift’s Waterland, Ecocriticism and Narratology”

Starting a new project: Future Floods, Flooded Futures

My new project is on what I call “flood fictions”, novels that use floods as a literal consequence of climate crisis, but also as a symbolic image for life in the Anthropocene: unpredictable, overwhelming and quite literally engulfing. Floods become synecdoches for climate crisis as a whole, bringing the large scale developments leading to andContinue reading “Starting a new project: Future Floods, Flooded Futures”

Currently: research (Jan & Feb 2018)

January January was a good month, research-wise: I had a lot of things planned, but I was able to do some of that in December, and had a lot of energy to work on the other projects in January.     What I worked on: Submitted an article on Ian McEwan and ecology – IContinue reading “Currently: research (Jan & Feb 2018)”

Climate Crisis and the 21st-Century British Novel – introductory remarks

My book, Climate Crisis and the 21st-Century British Novel, is published on November 2nd. In it I discuss how a wide variety of literary fictions reflect contemporary awareness of climate crisis, and participate in the construction of the stories that we tell about climate crisis. In the weeks leading up to and following the book’sContinue reading “Climate Crisis and the 21st-Century British Novel – introductory remarks”

Narrating crisis: the stories we tell about floods

I have recently become fascinated by flood narratives. Part of that, perhaps, has to do with growing up on a (former) island on which the memory of the 1953 North Sea flood is still very much alive. It also has to do with contemporary circumstances, especially how floods are presented as a consequence of environmentalContinue reading “Narrating crisis: the stories we tell about floods”

Seeing the Human in Nature in New British Nature Writing

In my previous post, I wrote about form as an important part of new nature writing. I discussed how authors use experimental form to redefine nature – what I think is a defining feature of the genre. At the end of the post, I started to look at Olivia Laing’s To the River and CharlesContinue reading “Seeing the Human in Nature in New British Nature Writing”

Finding a Shape to Write About Nature

New nature writing is surprisingly hotly debated. In the New Statesman recently, Mark Cocker and Robert Macfarlane debated the genre, and especially Cocker’s claim that it was too “tame”. This kind of debate is interesting to me, because it says a lot about how people whom we call new nature writers define the genre. I’llContinue reading “Finding a Shape to Write About Nature”