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Chronicles of the Apocalypse: Writing on Climate Change
A conversation with Amitav Ghosh, Terry Tempest Williams, & Emily Raboteau
Introduced by Jennifer Egan, President of PEN America

Civilization and our planet's very future are now in doubt with a level of environmental crisis that demands the attention of fiction writers, journalists, and essayists. Acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island exemplifies the new writing about the pressing realities of our rapidly changing planet. His story of forced migration follows the deadly 1970 Bhola Cyclone, which killed half a million people. Terry Tempest Williams’ collection of essays, Erosion, continues her environmental critiques of what we are losing beyond the living world—how we are eroding and evolving as our climate changes irrevocably. This is an urgent and necessary conversation on how writers are charting our apocalyptic future with moderator Emily Raboteau, a novelist and essayist who has been writing exclusively about the climate crisis for the last year.

Dec 1, 2020 04:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh is the author of the acclaimed and best-selling Ibis Trilogy, which includes Sea of Poppies (shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize), River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His other novels include The Circle of Reason, which won the Prix Médicis étranger, and The Glass Palace. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2007 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009. His most recent novel, Gun Island, was published in 2019.
Terry Tempest Williams
Terry Tempest Williams has been called “a citizen writer”—a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. Known for her impassioned and lyrical prose, Williams is the author of sixteen books, including the environmental literature classic, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, the New York Times best seller The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks, and her latest book, Erosion: Essays of Undoing. A recipient of a Lannan Literary Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction, Williams received the Robert Kirsch Award, a lifetime achievement prize given to a writer with a substantial connection to the American West, and was also inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2019. She is currently Writer-in-Residence at the Harvard Divinity School. She divides her time between the red rock desert of Utah and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Emily Raboteau
Emily Raboteau is a novelist, long-form essayist, and professor of creative writing at the City University of New York. Her last book, Searching for Zion, was the recipient of an American Book Award. Bylines include The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and The New York Review of Books. For the last year and a half, she has been writing exclusively about the climate crisis.