UWE Bristol academic leads Community Climate Literature Book Club in Eastville

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Dr Sarah Robertson, a senior lecturer in American Literature and part of the English Literature team at UWE is currently leading on a time-limited book club for those who love literature and want to read more about the climate.

Across her research, Sarah has repeatedly turned to the extractive logic that has ravaged parts of the Appalachian mountains. She critically examines literary representations of coal mining, strip mining, mountain-top removal, fracking and logging, and their impact on the land and local communities in US States including West Virginia and Tennessee. Her latest projects include completing a book on Gothic Appalachian Literature (Anthem Press, 2024), with a distinct focus on extraction and climate change, and working with UWE colleague, Dr Ann Alston (English Literature), on an impact case study on climate change, literature, society and the English curriculum.

As part of her work on the impact case study, Sarah devised this book club to provide the public with opportunities to discuss a variety of contemporary novels that represent the changing climate. Engaging with world literature, from science fiction to realism, the group discusses the challenges of climate change and questions of hope, adaptability, and resilience as they emerge across the selected novels.

Meeting in the lovely space at The Old Library in Eastville, Bristol, over tea and coffee, the group discussions are warm and friendly, allowing everyone to share their thoughts. In January the group read Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behaviour (2012), and in February it turned to Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island (2019).

The book club is free of charge and you can join by dropping-in with no prior booking (though it would be great if you could let us know at Sarah.Robertson@uwe.ac.uk if you are intending to join, just so we have a rough idea of numbers). It takes place on the first Tuesday of every month from until June, from 7:00-9:00pm.

Upcoming meetings:

1st March – Maja Lunde’s The End of the Ocean

5th April – Ian McEwan’s Solar

3rd May – Elif Shafak’s The Island of Missing Trees

7th June – Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future

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