AUTHOR: Jenny Offill
PUBLISHER: Granta / Penguin
Meet Lizzie Benson, a university librarian living in Brooklyn with her family. Her former mentor Sylvia hosts a popular climate change podcast ‘Hell and High Water’. She hires Lizzie to assist her in answering the doomsday mail that she receives, messages that span the political spectrum.
The fifth book that we will be reading together in the LAX LAB book club is Weather by Jenny Offill. Weather is part of an expanding subset of climate fiction that is not set off in some distant, possible, dystopian future. Weather takes place in our present where climate change is woven into the fabric and concerns of everyday life. Taking place in New York City, the novel is an exploration of Trump’s America and the rise of the right. With wit and dark humour, Jenny Offill explores the angst of this moment. It is about the weather of climate change but also the weather of politics, emotions, and the personal.
Given the approaching election in the United States (and all the anxiety that comes with it), this novel should be a particularly salient read. Though many of us are neither from nor living in the United States, we are all very much affected by the country’s politics and its strange political weather. The sparse prose and narrative structure are a departure from the novels that we have been reading so far.
DISCUSSION TOPICS & QUESTIONS
FURTHER READING, VIEWING, LISTENING
Articles, essays, and other non-fiction
'Weather by Jenny Offill review – wit for the end times'
Kate Clanchy, The Guardian, 13 February 2020
'Stormy 'Weather' Captures Our Anxious Age With Bracing Wit'
Heller McAlpin, NPR, 11 February 2020
'Jenny Offill’s ‘Weather’ Is Emotional, Planetary and Very Turbulent'
Ping Zhu, New York Times, 7 February 2020
Music and other audio