Forthcoming works of narrative nonfiction, memoir, and essays lend perspective on understanding and mitigating the climate crisis.

At Home on an Unruly Planet

Madeline Ostrander. Holt, Aug.

Environmental journalist Ostrander examines how fires, floods, monsoons, and other natural disasters drive people on climate change’s front lines from their homes. In the first part of the book, she reports on communities impacted by disasters. In the second, she writes of preservation and refuge: “Sifting through all of the wreckage, putting things back in order where possible, salvaging what still has value.”

Fen, Bog, and Swamp

Annie Proulx. Scribner, June

Proulx, whose 2016 novel Barkskins addressed ecological collapse, here traces the history and consequences of wetlands destruction, which is “so intimately tied to the climate crisis,” she writes. Proulx’s text homes in on “those special wetlands that form the peat that holds in the greenhouse gasses CO2 and methane—the fens, bogs and swamps and how humans have interacted with them over the centuries.”

Fire and Flood

Eugene Linden. Penguin Press, Apr.

Tracking climate change from 1979 to the present, environmental journalist Linden (The Ragged Edge of the World) builds on the idea that the crisis is, he writes, “here and it’s going to get worse, very likely far worse.” Linden addresses big business’s failure to take steps to reverse it and what he describes as the “narrow” path forward.


The Greatest Polar Expedition of All Time

Markus Rex, trans. from the German by Sarah Pybus. Greystone, May

Atmospheric scientist Rex’s diary of the year he spent on the MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) expedition details the Polarstern icebreaker team’s studies on how the ice cycle impacts the climate system. He highlights the role of collaboration and community in both the expedition and in addressing the climate crisis.

The Intersectional Environmentalist

Leah Thomas. Voracious, Mar.

Furloughed from her public relations job during the pandemic, Thomas applied her background in environmental science and policy to launch the online platform Intersectional Environmentalist, which has since grown to 411,000 Instagram followers. In the book, she discusses how “those least responsible for the climate crisis are bearing the brunt of it,” explaining why civil rights are inextricable from climate activism and what steps individuals can take toward environmental justice.

Is Science Enough?

Aviva Chomsky. Beacon, Apr.

Historian Chomsky poses 40 questions as a means to discuss how social, racial, and economic justice are crucial to reversing climate change. The author “does a great job of keeping things simple while providing ample context, and her focus on justice adds urgency,” PW’s review said, calling the book “a worthwhile contribution to the growing body of work on the ethics of climate change.”

Nomad Century

Gaia Vince. Flatiron, Aug.

Over the next several decades, climate migration will displace billions of people, according to Vince, a science journalist whose previous titles include the PW-starred Adventures in the Anthropocene. Here, she explores possible solutions to what she calls a “species emergency,” among them “charter cities,” in which “states such as Nigeria, Bangladesh or Maldives could buy or rent land inside a large country such as Canada, Russia or Greenland, effectively gaining habitable territory” for a period of years.

Things You Can Do

Eduardo Garcia, illus. by Sara Boccaccini Meadows. Ten Speed, Apr.

Garcia, who covers renewable energy for the online sustainability platform Treehugger, expands on the “One Thing You Can Do” column he wrote for the New York Times. His facts and stats mesh with Meadows’s illustrations to explain complex issues such as the damage fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses cause and to suggest steps readers can take to help combat climate change—for instance, eating a climate-friendly diet (think plant-based proteins), getting to zero plastic, and traveling more sustainably.

We Are the Middle of Forever

Edited by Dahr Jamail and Stan Rushworth. New Press, Apr.

Journalist Jamail (The End of Ice) and Rushworth (Diaspora’s Children), an Indigenous elder of Cherokee descent and a teacher of Native American literature, profile Indigenous North American climate activists. The authors hope their collection of interviews will be “an aid to those looking for ideas and responses to the conditions of today,” from Indigenous peoples who “have had to adapt, to persevere, to be courageous and resourceful in the face of destruction.”

What Climate Justice Means and Why We Should Care

Elizabeth Cripps. Bloomsbury Continuum, Apr.

Philosopher Cripps, a senior lecturer in political theory at University of Edinburgh, examines various facets of the climate crisis, including the roles colonialism and entrenched racism and sexism play in climate change. She closes with a chapter titled “But What Can I Do?” and, in response to that question, offers data on “individual carbon-cutting,” detailing how much carbon emission a person can lower by, for instance, cutting back on air travel, switching to an electric vehicle, or living car-free.


The World as We Knew It

Edited by Amy Brady and Tajja Isen. Catapult, June

In what PW’s starred review called “a powerful collection,” 19 writers, including Omar El Akkad, Melissa Febos, and Lidia Yuknavitch, use personal brushes with climate change to punctuate larger issues. (See “The Raw Data of Someone Else’s Life,” for PW’s q&a with Brady and Isen.)


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