[UCP Books]: The Great Derangement

Acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh’s first work of nonfiction in 25 years—On the defining crisis of our age

“Ghosh’s analysis of the ‘era of climate change’ is fascinating, erudite, and unflinching. The Great Derangement is a profoundly original book that spares no one.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

The Great Derangement

Climate Change and the Unthinkable

Amitav Ghosh

US Publication: October 1, 2016 / International Publication: October 24, 2016

Cloth ISBN-13: 978-0-226-32303-9 / $22.00 / £15.50


We are living in the age of the great derangement, declares celebrated Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh in this powerful book. How else will future generations explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In this, his first book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability—at the level of literature, history, and politics—to grasp the scale and violence of climate change. The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to treatment in serious literary fiction, which has been trapped in a myopic fascination with the everyday: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history and politics, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications, and he shows that the history of the carbon economy is actually a tangled global story.

Ghosh argues that limiting fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence—a task to which fiction, Ghosh insists, is the best suited of all cultural forms. This book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.


Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. He is an award-winning novelist and essayist whose books include the Ibis Trilogy: Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire. He is available for interviews. Please contact Carrie Olivia Adams at (773) 702-4216 or coa@press.uchicago.edu


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