The New Wilderness: urgent and inventive look at the climate crisis
Book review: Diane Cook’s subtle look at the climate crisis deserves its place on the Booker longlist
Author Diane Cook: she has the control that is necessary for good speculative fiction.
“They had seen a lot of death. They had become hardened to it. Not just the Community members who had perished in grisly or mundane ways. But around them everything died openly. Dying was as common as living.”
The New Wilderness, Diane Cook’s Booker-longlisted debut novel, is an urgent and inventive look at the climate crisis. Set in an eerily believable near-future, the book charts the progress (heavy on the irony) of a group of volunteers who’ve signed up to an experiment where they live in a vast area of wilderness outside the bounds of the City, a place of contaminated air and depleted natural resources.