Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1874-8767
  • E-ISSN: 1874-8775
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Scholarship on literature’s engagement with the climate crisis has frequently highlighted the limitations of the realist novel vis-à-vis the scale and wide-ranging ramifications of climate change. This article reads Laura Jean McKay’s (2020) as a powerful example of how the cross-fertilization of narrative and poetic forms can expand the imaginative reach of the novel. Through the plot device of a pandemic that enables human-nonhuman communication, McKay’s novel explores the fragility of nonhuman life in a world shaped by the violence of advanced capitalist societies. The poetic nature of the animals’ utterances complicates interpretation and draws attention to the complexities of human-nonhuman entanglement, echoing – and performing through literary form – the ethical position formulated by Deborah Bird Rose under the rubric of “ecological existentialism.”


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ecological crisis; ethics; pandemic; speculative fiction; trans-species communication
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