Category: Climate change

Ta-wei Chi: 膜 (Membranes)

The latest addition to my website is Ta-wei Chi‘s 膜 (Membranes). This novel is a queer transgender climate-change Taiwanese novel set in the twenty-second century. Everyone now lives under the sea because of climate change. We follow the story of Momo, the top skincare specialist in T City. Momo lives a solitary life, seeing only her clients and giving them a membrane which she can, with a scanner, determine what they have been doing. She had a serious operation when she was seven – she was in hospital for three years – as a result of which she lost both her friend Andy (who we know to have been a cyborg) and also her penis (all is later explained). Since then she has fallen out with her mother, a successful publisher, and they have had no contact for twenty years. Now as she approaches thirty, mother reappears and Momo is determined to find out what happened. She and we are in for a shock. This is an excellent novel, dealing with Momo’s mental state, new technology and Momo’s mental state as well as climate change and the major plot twist.

Josef Pánek: Láska v době globálních klimatických změn [Love in the Time of Global Climate Change]

The latest addition to my website is Josef Pánek‘s Láska v době globálních klimatických změn [Love in the Time of Global Climate Change]. This is a witty (with Czech-style wit) novel about racism and racial differences. Tomáš is a divorced molecular biologist, attending a conference in Bangalore. He does not like the place – the heat, the smell, the noise, the food, the lack of alcohol. He has not had sex for some time (exactly how much depends on his mood) and cannot countenance having sex with an Indian woman. He then meets an Indian woman, first in the street and later at the conference and he starts to wonder whether he was mistaken. Throughout the book he mocks those he meets, the places he visits, his family, the Czech institutions and above all, himself and his attitudes. It is very funny but, at the same time, seriously discusses the issue of racism and racial differences.

César Aira: Los misterios de Rosario [The Mysteries of Rosario]

The latest addition to my website isCésar Aira‘s Los misterios de Rosario [The Mysteries of Rosario]. The novel is partially concerned with climate change and the end of the world. It is set in Rosario, Argentina, and during October, when the weather is normally very mild, there is a raging snowstorm, with the temperature well below freezing. Our hero. Alberto Giordano, a literature professor at the Faculty of Humanities, is struggling with various issues. No-one has signed up for his latest class. He is hooked on the (fictitious) drug proxidine, which is having an effect on his health. He fears that the weather, if not bringing about the end of the world, as several of the other characters suggest, might at least lead to the end of Rosario. We follow him and his friends as they struggle with a host of identity issues, such as confusing people they know well. But with a Peronist plot, a kidnapping, TVs working despite a city-wide power cut, a talking snowman and the nature of reality, this is Aira as always taking us where we do not expect to be lead.

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