BOOK: The End of the Ocean
AUTHOR: Maja Lunde
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
It is 2019 when seventy-year old Signe sets off in a sailboat across the ocean in search of her lost love. In 2041, we meet David and his daughter Lou. They are fleeing drought-ridden and war-torn Southern Europe. In a garden in France far from any shore, they discover Signe’s sailboat and personal belongings.
The second book that we will be reading together in the LAX LAB book club is Norwegian author Maja Lunde’s recently translated novel The End of the Ocean (Blå for those who prefer to read in the original Norwegian). Maja Lunde’s novel is a multi-generational story. It weaves together sets of characters and different points in time and imagines a not-so-distant future in which climate change has led to water scarcity and geopolitical instability. Speculative and dystopian, The End of the Ocean is also a call to action.
The End of the Ocean is the second book in Maja Lunde’s ‘Climate Quartet’, a series of independent but linked novels about connection, nature, and climate change. In an interview with Amy Brady for The Chicago Review of Books, Maja Lunde says the following about the book:
‘The End of the Ocean was written out of gratitude. Being Norwegian means being able to live surrounded by water in any form, wild waterfalls and tranquil lakes, majestic glaciers and pristine snow, and of course the fjords and the ocean. It also means being able to turn on the tap and fill a glass of fresh, clean drinking water. This is a true miracle. But a miracle available to very few, and ever fewer. Our freshwater resources are emptied, the glaciers are melting before our eyes, while the world is getting drier and warmer every year. Therefore, the novel also originates from my own anxiety. In Norway we say “write where it burns.” This is where it burns for me.’
FURTHER READING, LISTENING, VIEWING
Articles and essays
'Climate fiction for climate action: An interview with Maja Lunde, author of 'The End of the Ocean'
Amy Brady, The Chicago Review of Books, 21 January 2020
The History of Bees (2015) by Maja Lunde
Television and film