Welcome to the Post-Anthropolis: Urban Space and Climate Change in Nathaniel Rich's Odds Against Tomorrow, Lev Rosen's Depth, and Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140
- Journal of Modern Literature
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 43, Number 2, Winter 2020
- pp. 165-181
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Three recent climate fictions set in New York City—Nathaniel Rich's Odds Against Tomorrow (2013), Lev Rosen's Depth (2015), and Kim Stanley Robinson's New York 2140 (2017)—reimagine urban space in climate crisis. Reflecting contemporary concerns, Rich, Rosen, and Robinson represent Manhattan in novel ways: as an ecosystem and a multi-species habitat. This imaginary city reaches deep into the bedrock and expands into (and beyond) the New York Bight to reveal a vaster, unfamiliar, less human-centered eco-polis. Although the novels depart from anthropocentric traditions of urban representation, their portrayals of the relationship between the city and its environment recall Romantic and colonial tropes (the aesthetization of "nature" as an autonomous realm, the romance of wilderness, the erasure of Native histories). These fictions highlight the challenge of forging new spatial imaginaries for the Anthropocene.