restricted access Climate-Change Infrastructure and the Volatilizing of American Regionalism

This essay argues that changes in American energy infrastructure from carbon-based power plants to distributed, renewable energy networks precipitate changes in American literary regionalism. Examining recent regional fiction including Jay Tyrell’s Wind Army, Paolo Bacigalupi’s “The Tamarisk Hunter,” and Richard Powers’s The Echo Maker, I argue that stories of climate-change infrastructure replace models of geographical difference based in enduring biomarkers with a more volatile regionalism that foregrounds the relationships among local, national, and global networks and that is distinguishable from the country’s cultural centers by its even more rapid pace of change.