Green Letters review: FTC offers “a productive catharsis”

There’s a new academic review of Facing the Change in the most recent issue of Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism (18:3), the journal of ASLE-UKI, the UK-Ireland branch of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment: (subscription required)

Recounting her previous immersion in the study of climate change discourse from an intellectual, academic perspective, reviewer Adeline Johns-Putra says that when she began to read FTC, “the components of my theoretical armoury became increasingly disarmed. Or, rather, my intellectual awareness about the ethical and psychological enormity of living with climate change was re-engaged at an entirely different level—an affective one.”

She continues: “This book enables its reader not only to reflect on the profound difficulties of talking and writing about climate change but also to work through the alienating effects of the process, for example, frustration, sadness, guilt and anger.  Divided into sections that deal with different aspects of climate change awareness and action, the book moves progressively from watching, to caring, to thinking, to the possibility of doing.” Appropriately noting some of the book’s limitations—including an unevenness of writing not atypical of a collected volume, and (as in previous reviews) the near-exclusion of non-American perspectives—Prof Johns-Putra nevertheless ends with a positive evaluation:

“One puts down this book, nonetheless, with a real sense of hope for the future. That is thanks to some careful selection and arrangement by Steven Pavlos Holmes as editor, as well as to the emotional depths plumbed by some of the writers, which enables a productive catharsis. It is also a book worth dipping into from time to time, yielding enough variety to sustain a re-reading, enough urgency in its many voices to remind us why we need to act, and enough wisdom in its insights to persuade us that we can each make a difference.”