At the recently concluded World Book Fair in Delhi, I had the privilege of meeting, moderating, and getting to know J.L. Morin. JL, as it turns out, is an award-winning Novelist, celebrated globally for her Cli Fi writing. Cli Fi you ask? As a writer and educator, I too was embarrassed that I had been, hitherto, completely ignorant of this burgeoning category of fiction – Climate Fiction. And J.L. is the poster-child of this most important, and extremely relevant writing genre.
As an educator, I always struggle with finding interesting, ‘non-preachy’ ways of exposing my students to the ugly truth of climate-change. Its all well and good to simply lecture students about the horrors and atrocities that have been caused due to man-made climate change. However, until we find a way that speaks to people naturally about this disastrous situation we find ourselves in, it is unlikely that any genuine understanding, empathy, and affirmative action will be taken.
And then, upon reading Nature’s Confession, J.L.’s novel, it hit me. Not only is it a great read (and I’m not going to say too much about the book itself because I feel not just a climate-sensitive readership, but literature lovers in general should read it for themselves), it is a most effective tool to sensitize young people about climate change. I can not comment on the education systems in countries aside from my own; at least here in India, instead of different political parties quibbling over how to present ‘history’ in text books (glorifying each party’s contribution to nation building), a book like Nature’s Confession should be made mandatory reading material at schools and colleges. At the very least, educational institutions would do well to purchase copies of the book to stock in their libraries, so that the off chance that a young person were to be intrigued and read it, would most positively become more aware and conscious of climate change.
To JL and all the other wonderful writers who are contributing to society in such a meaningful, thought-provoking, yet entertaining and engaging manner, I place huge respect, and thank you all for doing what you do. I hear, unsurprisingly, that it isn’t the easiest work to have published, talk about, or reviewed, making most every piece of Climate Fiction a rather selfless labor of love. And for that, and for the love of the planet, these writers who are fictionalizing climatic fact, to my mind, are true champions.
Here’s a link to the book…