Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior and Pancake’s Strange as This Weather Has Been revive the commons as place, as concept, and as narrative motivation. The losses that damaging resource extraction produces give rise to new models for sustaining the commons through work. Specifically, the novels’ women protagonists escape restrictive domesticity to become organic intellectuals who shore up the commons through activist and scientific labors that integrate locals’ experiential knowledge into environmentalist and research agendas. The novels veer from traditional commons thinking and historical scholarship on the interplay between labor and environment to propose how knowledge work curbs privatization and resource capture.