Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology

Volume 19, Issue 2, 2022

About Formations of World Literature(s)

Simon C. Estok
Pages 43-55

Anthropocene becomes the world
Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People, Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance, and Paulo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl as world literature

The topics of Anthropocene literature have a perceived global relevance that is greater than that of literature in any other period in history, and Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People, Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance, and Paulo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl show this clearly. These books hit common global registers, at once dealing with issues such as urbanization, corporate capitalism, and climate change as common concerns while vigorously valuing and affirming cultural heterogeneity. The topics of these novels virtually guarantee their position as world literature. Sinha, Mistry, and Bacigalupi offer hope rather than doom-and-gloom on topics that are of pressing global concern. In the process, they reveal that Anthropocene fiction has, by its very topicality, a propensity to being world literature, whatever the greatness or weakness of its national origin. Theorizing about world literature thus needs to grapple more decisively than it has with what cli-fi and Anthropocene fiction offer.