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In the past five years, John Freeman, previously editor of Granta, has launched a celebrated international literary magazine, Freeman's, and compiled two acclaimed anthologies that deal with income inequality as it is experienced, first in New York and then throughout the United States. In the course of this work, one major theme has come up repeatedly- how climate change is making already dire inequalities much worse, devastating further the already devastated. The effects of global warming are especially disruptive in less well-off nations, sending refugees to the US and elsewhere in the wealthier world, where they often encounter the problems that perennially face outsiders- lack of access to education, health care, decent housing, employment, and even basic nutrition. But the problems of climate change are not restricted to those from the less developed world. American citizens are suffering too, as the stories of distress resulting from recent hurricanes testify- People who can't sell their home because the building is on a flood plain, people who get displaced and cannot find work, and more. And this doesn't even take on board the situation in much of the Caribbean, or south of the Rio Grande in Mexico and Central America. Galvanized by his conversations with writers and activists around the world, Freeman has engaged with some of today's most eloquent writers, many of whom hail from the places under the most acute stress. The response has been extraordinary- a literary all-points bulletin of fiction, essays, poems, and reportage. Margaret Atwood conjures with a dystopian future in three remarkable poems. Lauren Groff takes us to Florida; Edwidge Danticat to Haiti; Tahmima Anim to Bangladesh. Valeria Luiselli probes the refugee crisis at the US-Mexico border, while Tash Aw takes us to Indonesia, Chinelo Okparanta to Nigeria, and Arundhati Roy to India. As the anthology unfolds, cliches fall away and we are brought closer to the real, human truth of what is happening to our world, and the dystopia to which we are heading. These are news stories with the emphasis on story, about events that should be found in the headlines but often are not, about the most important crisis of our times.

 

Details

ISBN: 9780143133926
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Publication Date: 6 Aug 2020
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
Publication City, Country: United States
Dimensions (cm): 21(H) x 13.9(L)

 

Reviews

Featured on the New York Times' climate change reading list

One of Elle's Best Books of 2020!

Tales of Two Planets is not soothing. It is not simple or stable, and it refuses easy pieties. You may struggle to make sense of the voices, to fit them into your own overarching narrative, and you will fail because there is no single narrative -- these are tales, not a tale, and they force you to ask instead of answering, to continue asking, each tale an answer you've probably never heard. When writing can make you do that, at least for a moment, it's another reason for hope.--Los Angeles Review of Books

"When the introduction has more content and brilliance than most books, you know you are in for a treat in the remaining pages.... Read it. Share it. Let it change the way you relate to our only home." --Orion Magazine

"If you've only ever read the headlines about climate change wreaking its worst havoc on the world's most vulnerable, Tales of Two Planets is likely to shock you. For everyone else, it will be a humanization of the broad trends you've read about, rendered with poignant specificity by writers who have actually lived them." --Wired

"Full of such varied writing that there's no opportunity for cliche to take hold . . . A reminder that excellent environmental writing can come from literally anywhere." --The New Republic

"The third in Freeman's hat trick of anthologies that examines inequalities, Tales of Two Planets, may be the most important, for it addresses a colossal and irreversible threat: climate change [. . . This] collection is critical to understanding our planet beyond the scope of our own personal plights." --Literary Hub

"In this eye-opening anthology about climate change, an impressive cast of contributors including Edwidge Danticat, Mohammed Hanif, and Margaret Atwood reflect on how the grim horror of our current ecological reality is being felt around the world." --Elle

"A powerful and timely collection on a topic that cannot be ignored . . . Assembling the creative work of respected writers from both the developed and developing world, Freeman offers a sobering meditation on the future challenges that everyone will face." --Kirkus Reviews

"[E]nvironmental and humanitarian crises in Egypt, Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and beyond are brought forward in masterful works elegiac, angry, and ironic in Freeman's clarion global chorus." --Booklist, starred review

"Tragically, climate change is one thing that's not on pause right now, and this impressive collection is a small but engaging way to remind yourself of that [. . .] Every piece is short but impactful." --Outside

 

Author Biography

John Freeman is the editor of Freeman's, a literary annual of new writing, and executive editor of Literary Hub. His books include How to Read a Novelist and Dictionary of the Undoing, as well as Tales of Two Americas, an anthology about income inequality in America, and Tales of Two Cities, an anthology of new writing about inequality in New York City. He is also the author of two collections of poems, Maps and The Park. His work is translated into more than twenty languages, and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times. The former editor of Granta, he teaches writing at New York University.

Tales Of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World
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