[2] The End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde

Book Cover: [2] The End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde

BOOK: The End of the Ocean
AUTHOR: Maja Lunde
YEAR: 2019
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

It is 2017 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.’

Cognitive dissonance
Impacts of climate change
Intergenerational dimensions of climate change
Water security


Author website
Maja Lunde

Articles and essays
‘How your brain stops you from taking climate change seriously’
Nsikan Akpan, PBS, 7 January 2019

'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

‘World has six months to avert climate crisis, says energy expert’
Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 18 June 2020

‘Meet generation Greta: young climate activists around the world’
Anna Turns, The Guardian, 28 June 2019

Memory of Water (2014) by Emmi Itäranta

The History of Bees (2015) by Maja Lunde

Music and other audio
Ringer i vannet [Rings in the water] (2020) by Marte Wulff

'Greta Thunberg: Humanity has not yet failed' - Reflections from Swedish climate activist Gretha Thunberg, Swedish Radio show Summer on P1, 20 June 2020

LAX LAB Librarian