Allegra Hyde on Addressing the Steps to Solve Climate Change in Her New Novel
In Conversation with Brad Listi on Otherppl
Allegra Hyde is the guest. Her new novel, Eleutheria, is out now from Vintage.
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From the episode:
Allegra Hyde: I wrote this sequence of steps moving from individual steps, to community steps, to governmental, national, and international steps, because I wanted to, on one hand, make good on the utopian promise of my novel, but also because I wanted to show that we do know what we need to do in order to solve climate change. We do know what needs to happen. It’s not necessarily a mystery. I think seeing those steps laid out from an individual to a governmental level is as useful.
It goes back to my motivation for writing this book: when I started working on it, I felt like a lot of the “climate fiction” that was out there was very apocalyptic. It was focused on showing how bad things could be and showing a worst case scenario to scare people into taking action. And that is useful to some extent. But I felt like climate fiction or climate engaged books needed to go further or think about it differently.
I tried to use my novel as a space where I showed people actively addressing climate change, or trying to address climate change—maybe failing, maybe not doing it the right way, but at least trying. Then, by the end of the book, also offering as an author essentially another potential map that is clear and thorough to some extent.
Allegra Hyde’s debut story collection, Of This New World, won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award through the Iowa Short Fiction Award Series. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, The Best Small Fictions, and The Best American Travel Writing. Originally from New Hampshire, she currently lives in Ohio and teaches at Oberlin College.