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In Conversation with John Freeman

Our September N&G Book Club Pick was Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Equality in a Divided World, edited by John Freeman. I enjoyed reading these essays from amazing authors, including Margaret Atwood and Lauren Groff, on the climate change crisis. The book looks at the disparity between the haves and have-nots without hitting you over the head with it. The essays all highlight that in different ways within our world. 

What’s intriguing about this collection is if you remove the subject of climate change, these stories can live on their own. They are windows into how we all live on this planet—the stories just happen to intersect with climate change. It’s a well-rounded approach.

For our Zoom call, John suggested also talking to Aminatta Forna, an award-winning novelist who contributed to the book. I loved her essay about the hero of Sierra Leone—an ape named Bruno. She delves into the dynamic between the tourists who visit the attraction and the locals who keep it running. The three of us had a wide-ranging conversation that covered everything from environmentalism to our carbon footprints to food waste. 

Watch our full conversation in the video below. And then pick up a copy of Tale of Two Planets, if you haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet.

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