The End of the End of the Earth Jonathan Franzen
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Franzen's latest non fiction book sees him considering climate change, what we can do and how to keep despair in the situation at arms length. In the first essay on the subject in this book Franzen writes 'I don't have any hope that we can stop the change from coming.' Nothing in the succeeding pages indicates that he has changed his mind from this position. In refusing to hope for the impossible he manages to create the impression, if not of hope, then of a non-hopelessness. He doesn't waste time circling the state that we find ourselves in: 'Drastic planetary overheating is a done deal' he writes, but by acknowledging that the macro problem is beyond his influence he argues that we are freed to find creative micro solutions. Franzen's writing is, as ever, nimble and lovely, delivering great insights with delicacy and grace.