The Dying Animals: Anthropocene Stories

Timothy C. Baker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Beginning with analyses of work by Ben Marcus, Blake Butler, and Barbara Kingsolver, this chapter discusses the way fiction can respond to dramatic shifts in humanity’s place in the world. It contrasts the explicitly American, capitalist perspective on climate change and mass extinction in Lydia Millet’s How the Dead Dream with the Indigenous perspectives of Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book, then turns to the fantastic worlds of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy and Adam Roberts’s Bête. All four authors suggest the importance of seeing precarity and vulnerability as essential to all creaturely life, and challenge ideas of linear narratives. By examining the way language is shared between creatures and positioning mass suffering and death as a form of relation, they suggest new directions for narrative.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWriting Animals
Subtitle of host publicationLanguage, Suffering, and Animality in Twenty-First-Century Fiction
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages40
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-03879-3, 978-3-030-03881-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Animals and Literature
ISSN (Print)2634-6338
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6346

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).


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