On Time and Water
Andri Snær Magnason (Author) Lytton Smith (Translator)
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DescriptionA few years ago, Andri Snaer Magnason, one of Iceland's most beloved writers and public intellectuals, was asked by a leading climate scientist why he wasn't writing about the greatest crisis mankind has faced. Magnason demurred: he wasn't a specialist, he said; it wasn't his field. But the scientist persisted: "If you cannot understand our scientific findings and present them in an emotional, psychological, poetic or mythological context," he told him, "then no one will really understand the issue, and the world will end." Based on interviews and advice from leading glacial, ocean, climate, and geographical scientists, and interwoven with personal, historical, and mythological stories, Magnason's response is a rich and compelling work of narrative nonfiction that illustrates the reality of climate change--and offers hope in the face of an uncertain future. Moving from reflections on how one writes an obituary for an iceberg to exhortation for a heightened understanding of human time and our obligations to one another, throughout history and across the globe, On Time and Water is both deeply personal and globally-minded: a travel story, a world history, and a desperate plea to live in harmony with future generations. Already a massive bestseller in Iceland, and selling in two dozen territories around the world, this is a book unlike anything that has yet been published on the current climate emergency.
March 23, 2021
5.8 X 8.6 X 1.3 inches | 1.2 pounds
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About the Author
Andri Snær Magnason is one of Iceland's most celebrated writers. He has won the Icelandic Literary Prize for fiction, children's fiction, and non-fiction. In 2009, Magnason co-directed the documentary Dreamland, which was based on his book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation. In 2010, Magnason was awarded the Kairos Prize, presented to outstanding individuals in the field of intercultural understanding. Magnason ran for president of Iceland in 2016 and came third out of nine candidates. Lytton Smith is a poet, professor, and translator from the Icelandic. His most recent translations include works by Kristin Ómarsdóttir, Jón Gnarr, Ófeigur Sigurðsson, and Guðbergur Bergsson. His most recent poetry collection, The All-Purpose Magical Tent, was published by Nightboat. Having earned his MFA and PhD from Columbia University, he currently teaches at SUNY Geneseo.
"I loved this book so much--it is a cerebral tale, well told and unabashedly philosophical. It is dark, funny and grim."--New York Times on The Casket of Time "Eco-lit needs more attention, and devotees will be pleased to discover a new addition from the Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason, who writes with a Seussian mix of wonder, wit and gravitas. . . . Immensely satisfying."--New York Times on The Story of the Blue Planet "Orwell, Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams are felt on every page, though Magnason is never derivative. His satire and insightful social commentary sweeten the pot and the sheer wackiness of Magnason's oversized imagination is invigorating."--Publisher's Weekly (starred review) on Lovestar "Strange and refreshing--a lushly imagined future that reminded me of Vonnegut and Brautigan."--Ed Park, author of Personal Days on Lovestar "The love child of Chomsky and Lewis Carroll."--Rebecca Solnit on The Casket of Time