'A provocative, urgent novel about time, family and how a changing planet might change our lives, from James Bradley, acclaimed author of The Resurrectionist and editor of The Penguin Book of the Ocean.
'Compelling, challenging and resilient, over ten beautifully contained chapters, Clade canvasses three generations from the very near future to late this century. Central to the novel is the family of Adam, a scientist, and his wife Ellie, an artist. Clade opens with them wanting a child and Adam in a quandary about the wisdom of this. Their daughter proves to be an elusive little girl and then a troubled teenager, and by now cracks have appeared in her parents' marriage. Their grandson is in turn a troubled boy, but when his character reappears as an adult he's an astronomer, one set to discover something astounding in the universe. With great skill James Bradley shifts us subtly forward through the decades, through disasters and plagues, miraculous small moments and acts of great courage. Elegant, evocative, understated and thought-provoking, it is the work of a writer in command of the major themes of our time.' (Publication summary)
'In his latest novel Clade (2015), Australian author James Bradley portrays
apocalyptic scenarios in the aftermath of the ubiquitous climate change that is
affecting our planet, while following the human conflicts of three generations
of the Leith family. And yet, this article argues that the novel privileges an
optative mood instead of the traditional collective catastrophe of canonical
eco-fiction. To do so, the article scrutinises some formal strategies of narrative
empathy, such as character identification and multiple focalisation, which favour
the reader’s emotional engagement. In the novel, vulnerable manifestations
disclose a profound empathic orientation, addressing an ethics of care
that implicates the reader affectively.' (Publication abstract)
'Climate fiction novels catapult readers into a future ravaged by the catastrophic effects of global warming.' (Introduction)
Postcolonial ecocriticism has emerged gradually over the last couple of decades as the differences between postcolonialism and environmentalism have been overcome. Those differences have centred on an assumed conflict in the way the two discourses see the world. However, the colonial roots of environmental degradation and the growing postcolonial critique of the effects of imperialism have seen a growing alliance focused in the discipline of postcolonial ecocriticism. Postcolonial critique and environmentalism have found common interest in the role of imperialism and capitalism in the rapidly degrading anthropocene. However critique has not often led to a clear vision of a possible world. This paper suggests a new alliance – between postcolonial critique, environmentalism and utopianism – one that emerges from the postcolonial realisation the no transformation can occur without the hope inspired by a vision of the future. The paper asks what literature can do in an environmental struggle in which colonized peoples environmental struggle in which colonized peoples are among the worst affected. The role of postcolonial literature provides a model for the transformative function of the creative spirit in political resistance. No true resistance can succeed without a vision of change and literature provides the most powerful location of that vision – no transformation can occur unless it is first imagined.