Death-Facing Ecology in Contemporary British and North American Environmental Crisis Fiction: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Death-Facing Ecology in Contemporary British and North American Environmental Crisis Fiction

1st Edition

By Louise Squire


208 pages

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Hardback: 9781138304680
pub: 2019-12-19
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Recent years have seen a burgeoning of novels that respond to the environmental issues we currently face. Among these, Louise Squire defines environmental crisis fiction as concerned with a range of environmental issues and with the human subject as a catalyst for these issues. She argues that this fiction is characterised by a thematic use of "death," through which it explores a "crisis" of both environment and self. Squire refers to this emergent thematic device as "death-facing ecology". This device enables this fiction to engage with a range of theoretical ideas and with popular notions of death and the human condition as cultural phenomena of the modern West. In doing so, this fiction invites its readers to consider how humanity might begin to respond to the crisis.


"This book offers us all a challenge: can thinking about, and thinking with, death, help us to understand our reactions to environmental crisis? By drawing our attention to the ways literature has confronted and acknowledged death both as a reality and as a way of figuring our lives, Squire's study shows how the imagination of the end of us is not limited to hopeless and helpless spectacle of disaster."

– Dr. Jenny Bavidge, University of Cambridge

Table of Contents

Introduction: Thoughts Towards an Ecology of Death-Facing

  1. A Crisis of Environment, A crisis in Thought
  2. Death Denial, Death facing
  3. Impasse, Paradox
  4. Discursive Death, Material Death

Conclusion: Imageries of the Future

About the Author

Louise Squire researches in contemporary literature and ecocriticism. She works at University of Portsmouth and is Assistant Editor for [email protected]. Publications include (co-editor) Literature and Sustainability: Concept, Text and Culture, a chapter in Extending Ecocritcism, ed. by Peter Barry and William Welstead, and an article in The Oxford Literary Review.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Contemporary Literature

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / General
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Nature
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection