Eco-Fiction: Why It’s A Hit And What To Read

Eco-Fiction Book montage
Giulia Sirignani

Journalist

Mar 21, 2022

If you can’t stare at nature’s beauty, you can at least be transported to a magical or endangered place through the imagination of authors. In this time of climate crisis, every season seems to bring a flood, bushfire or drought, as if Mother Nature is asserting her power to give, and then in a moment, to take away.

In the last few years eco-fiction, which captures the wonder of the environment while exploring human’s impact on it, has grabbed the attention of fiction lovers.

Here are our top 5 eco-fiction must reads which aren’t just page-turners, but game-changers as we think about climate action.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

Eco-Fiction: The Overstory by Richard Powers

Overstory is one of the most beautiful and evocative novels ever written about trees. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, it’s the story of strangers who are compelled to come together to save the natural world from catastrophe. But the leading characters are really the trees themselves which readers can almost see, feel and even hear – but only through paying close attention.

Published by Penguin Australia

RRP: $22.99

https://www.penguin.com.au/books/the-overstory-9781784708245

Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

Eco-Fiction: Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

Flight Behaviour takes on the topic of climate change and the colliding views between faith and science. Set in rural Appalachia, a dissatisfied farm wife becomes fascinated by an influx of butterflies who have veered from their usual flight path. Soon scientists, media and other parties descend on the remote area to study the butterflies. But most forget to ask the obvious question: why?

Published by Allen & Unwin

RRP: $19.99

https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/fiction/Flight-Behaviour-Barbara-Kingsolver-9780571290802

A River Divided by George Paxinos

Eco-Fiction: A River Divided by George Paxinos

This original and masterfully woven story is the first fiction offering by neuroscientist and Greek-Australian Professor George Paxinos. Set across four continents, A River Divided centres on twin brothers who are unaware of each other’s existence until they meet for a moment in the Amazon. Although he’s penned over 50 academic books, Professor Paxinos, a leading challenger of climate change denial, turns to fiction in search of a new audience and to influence attitudes on the environment. 

Published by Hardie Grant Media

RRP: $35.00

https://www.georgepaxinos.com.au

For your chance to read a free chapter, click here.

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

A beloved and bestselling eco-fiction/adventure, Ishmael is the story of a man in search of the truth who answers an ad in the local paper from a teacher who’s seeking serious students. Arriving at the lesson, he’s stunned to find the teacher is a gorilla. Ishmael is a favourite among both readers and critics. A special twenty-fifth anniversary edition features a new foreword and afterword by author Daniel Quinn.

Published by Penguin Australia

RRP: $32.99

https://www.penguin.com.au/books/ishmael-9780553375404

Clade by James Bradley

Clade by James Bradley

A savvy novel which centres on generations in one family, most of whom fail to notice how the world is slowly being destroyed by climate change. Australian James Bradley’s story reminds us that the world won’t be annihilated by one big bang, but rather chipped into oblivion by a protracted series of floods, extinctions, fires, droughts and die-offs. Clade challenges us to remember how everything in the natural world is interconnected.

Published by Penguin Australia

RRP: $32.99

https://www.penguin.com.au/books/clade-9781926428659

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Giulia Sirignani

Journalist

Giulia Sirignani is a Walkley-nominated journalist, director and producer with nearly 30 years’ experience working internationally in broadcast and print journalism and as a documentary director. Giulia has reported and produced for ABC, Nine Network, CNN, NBC & PBS America, CNBC, RAI (Italy) and wrote for Fairfax publications in both Australia and New Zealand as well as corporate and tourism blogs. Giulia writes and produces content for lifestyle websites TheCarousel.com and WomenLoveTech.com. She also trains politicians, corporate teams and academics in media and presentation skills, personal branding and corporate narratives. Giulia has edited books on public speaking and personal branding.

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