Skip to content
Give readers a window on the world. Click to donate.

November 2020

Global Warnings: Writing on Climate and the Environment, II

Image: Eliseu Cavalcante, Photo from series "Being Mangrove/Ser Manguezal," 2019–2020.

Our November 2020 issue, the second part of our double issue of writing on the climate crisis that began last month, coincides with an inauspicious date: as of November 4, 2020, Donald Trump has made official the United States’ breach of its commitment to the landmark 2015 Paris accord on climate change. The protagonist of this month's work is, by and large, the natural world in its many iterations; all of the writing here sounds the warning of the human cost of environmental destruction. Photographer Eliseu Cavalcante takes us to the mangrove forests of Bahia, Brazil; Ondjaki, translated by Stephen Henighan, gives us a farcical view of urban catastrophe provoked by human folly;  Isabel Zapata, translated by Robin Myers, depicts the intertwined destinies of a mother orca, her dead calf, and the pilot of an empty plane that is rapidly losing fuel and altitude; Yu Jian, translated here by Xin Xu, composes an elegy to a majestic elephant as it marches across Asia to its death; and Markéta Pilátová, translated by Sára Foitová, traces the reverberations of the December 2004 tsunami in Indonesia back to the Czech Republic.

Book Reviews

As American as Immigration: Małgorzata Szejnert Brings to Life the Many Stories of Ellis Island

Reviewed by Mauricio Ruiz

Drawing on unpublished letters and journals, the Polish journalist always keeps an eye on revealing details in her new book "Ellis Island: A People's History," the result of extensive research into the manifold trajectories of those who set foot on a new continent and helped forge the modern US.

A Bereaved Soldier Looks for Revenge in David Diop’s Disturbing ‘At Night All Blood is Black’

Reviewed by Martha Anne Toll

Via a forceful monologue, Diop's novel creates a tale of revenge with biblical overtones as it looks at the relatively little-known story of Senegalese riflemen fighting in the French army in the First World War.

Recent Issues

Animal Kingdom

Our Nueva York: Writing the City in Spanish

The Language of Identity: Kaaps Writing from South Africa

Voices on the Verge: Writing from Southeast Asian Creole Languages

The Slow Burn of Inner Chaos: Writing from Malaysia

Backstories: Afro-Italian Women Writers

The Queer Issue XII

Movement and Multiplicity: Writing from Mauritania

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.