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This essay explores the entanglement of radical humanisms and realist ontologies in theorizing catastrophe in the contemporary global novel. Both humanism and realism have been declared dead a few times this past century. I do not propose to rehearse this gesture, especially in an era when the imprint of the human is beginning to acquire geological and planetary proportions, and the boundaries of realism extend far beyond the ordinary visible rhythm of bourgeois life. Rather, I am intent on exploring how their interplay shapes the twenty-first century global novel as the latter mediates human and non-human life forms in our era of techno- and biogenetic capitalism and anthropogenic climate change. Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide, James George's Ocean Roads and Indra Sinha's Animal's People feature as examples of such novels.