Richard Powers on How Stories Can Help Us Cultivate Kinship with Other Creatures
This Week From the Emergence Magazine Podcast
Emergence Magazine is an online publication with annual print edition exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Our podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories and more.
As part of a new Emergence series, we’re publishing a selection of essays from Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations—a five-volume collection edited by Gavin Van Horn, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and John Hausdoerffer—including this poignant essay from Richard Powers. Richard is the author of twelve novels, including the newly released Bewilderment, and The Overstory, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. In this essay, as he reflects on whether there is a genetic basis for altruism, Richard arrives at story as the vehicle through which human beings can find kinship with other creatures—recognizing and remembering our shared narrative in the urgent drama of this moment.
Illustration by Daniel Barreto.
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