Penguin Classics launches ‘new canon’ of environmental literature

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From Greta Thunberg to James Lovelock, publisher Penguin Classics has come up with a “new canon” of the environmental literature, which it believes has “changed the way we think and talk about the living Earth”. The move is part of a growing trend in publishing for books focused on the climate, whether from big hitters such as David Attenborough or Bill Gates, whose How to Avoid a Climate Disaster was out in February, or so-called “cli-fi”, climate fiction, from writers including Richard Powers and Jenny Offill. Penguin’s Green Ideas series capitalises on this appetite, collecting 20 short books it believes constitute “the classics that made a movement”, by “visionary thinkers around the world [who] have raised their voices to defend the planet”. Nobel peace prize winner Wangari Maathai is included with her exploration of the power of trees and why humans destroy the forests that keep us alive; Rachel Carson for her revelations about how man-made pesticides have destroyed wildlife; George Monbiot for his call for humanity to wake up to the destruction of the planet; and Naomi Klein for her look at how deregulated capitalism is waging war on the climate. Ranging across art, literature and gardening to […]

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