Is All Fiction Climate Fiction?

There are two sides to every story. In Blaze Island, fiction meets real-life climate science and portrays our global predicament in an artful narrative. Our desire for change is in conflict with our habits of denial.

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.


Contributor bio: Lana Pesch 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. Her debut short story collection, Moving Parts (Arsenal Pulp Press) was published in October 2015.


Liisbeth is a womxn-led indie, reader supported (no ads)  publication focused on writing about feminist entrepreneurs working to transform our economy–one business at a time.  If you believe in our work, please consider a one time donation.  It would help a lot!

 


Related Readings

This Show Must Go On

 

Leave a reply

Send this to a friend