Sep/Oct 2018 • Vol. XL No. 5 Book Reviews |

“Polysituating”

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. 196 pp. $22.00. Polysituatedness: A Poetics of Displacement by John Kinsella. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2017. 448 pp. £95.00.   In his book The Great Derangement, Amitav Ghosh examines why the human imagination—especially in literary fiction—has so often failed to come to terms with what he considers the greatest crisis of our times: climate change. He calls this a failure of our collective imagination—a “great derangement”—born out of an assumption that the earth is a separate and inanimate thing on which we live, rather than a living entity of which we are a part. In a partial answer to this problem, John Kinsella’s new multigenre book, Polysituatedness, presents a view of global citizenship in prose and poetry that serves as a treatise for how humans can engage with the planet. In doing so, he suggests possibilities

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Wendy Singer is the Roy T. Wortman Professor of History and South Asian Studies at Kenyon College. She is author, recently, of Independent India (Routledge, 2012), a thematic history of India since independence that includes sources of art and literature. Believing in the power of storytelling that lies at the heart of history-writing, she is currently collaborating on creative writing workshops for academics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

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