James Howard Kunstler Reading from an Unpublished Novel
Genetically and biologically, we humans must still be heavily pre-literate, so the oral transmission of ideas, art and culture is powerful for us; we listen and concentrate on the words differently than we are used to doing when we consume written texts. I have always enjoyed hearing writers read their work. The author’s voice carries intonation and meaning that adds to the impact of the work and makes me feel closer to the writing.
So it’s a great pleasure to feature one of my favorite writers, James Howard Kunstler, in the AuthorsVoices series here at Writerscast. Kunstler is the author of a long list of really interesting books. He started out as a novelist, publishing novels on a variety of topics and settings through the nineties, when he switched to publishing nonfiction books about social and geographical issues, focusing on the suburbanization of America for the most part. The in 2005, Grove Atlantic published his The Long Emergency, a brilliant and troubling book about climate change and the “converging catastrophes of the 21st Century.”
In February, 2011, I interviewed Jim about the post-apocalyptic World Made by Hand series of novels that are his imaginings of what life will be like in the world after the collapse he predicted in The Long Emergency. At that time, he had written and published two books in the series, World Made by Hand and The Witch of Hebron. That interview can be found here. The third book in the series is still in progress, and it is from that novel that Jim is reading in this recording.
Kunstler’s excellent and active website is here. He blogs weekly and always has something interesting to say. You can read about his newest book, Too Much Magic, here; this book tells us how and why the long emergency is already upon us. The world in the novels he imagines may get here sooner than we think.