Climate and Crises: Magical Realism as Environmental Discourse makes a dual intervention in both world literature and ecocriticism by examining magical realism as an international style of writing that has long-standing links with environmental literature. The book argues that, in the era of climate change when humans are facing the prospect of species extinction, new ideas and new forms of expression are required to address what the novelist Amitav Gosh calls a "crisis of imagination." Magical realism enables writers to portray alternative intellectual paradigms, ontologies and epistemologies that typically contest the scientific rationalism derived from the European Enlightenment, and the exploitation of natural resources associated with both capitalism and imperialism. Climate and Crises explores the overlaps between magical realism and environmental literature, including their respective transgressive natures that dismantle binaries (such as human and non-human), a shared biocentric perspective that focuses on the inter-connectedness of all things in the universe, and, frequently, a critique of postcolonial legacies in formerly colonised territories. The book also challenges conventional conceptions of magical realism, arguing they are often influenced by a geographic bias in the construction of the orthodox global canon, and instead examines contemporary fiction from Asia (including China) and Australasia, two regions that have been largely neglected by scholarship of the narrative mode. As a result, the monograph modifies and expands our ideas of what magical realist fiction is.

chapter |41 pages


A Crisis of Imagination

chapter 1|31 pages

‘Expanded reality’

Alexis Wright’s Revitalisation of Dreamtime Narratives

chapter 2|22 pages

Sublime Wilderness

Embracing the Non-Human in Richard Flanagan’s Tasmania

chapter 3|18 pages

‘The oneness is still with us’

Oceanic Mythology in Witi Ihimaera’s The Whale Rider

chapter 4|21 pages

‘Heart, spirit, and inclination’

Reconciliation in Keri Hulme’s The Bone People

chapter 5|25 pages

Mosquitoes and Malaria

Counter-Science and Colonial Archives in Amitav Ghosh’s The Calcutta Chromosome

chapter 6|49 pages

Purity and Parody

Mo Yan’s Resistance to Western Magical Realism in Pursuit of His Own Chinese Style

chapter 7|17 pages

Planetary Perspective

Addressing Climate Change in Wu Ming-yi’s The Man with the Compound Eyes

chapter 8|8 pages