Part 7. Rajat Chaudhuri’s The Butterfly Effect
Welcome to Eco-fiction.com’s and Dragonfly’s global eco-fiction series. In part 7, we travel around the world some more as I talk with Rajat Chaudhuri, author of The Butterfly Effect (September 3, 2018, Olive Turtle, Niyogi), which Scroll.in said “blends mystery, eco-fiction and a Russian doll narrative.” Truly this novel is a wild ride, with brilliant and Ballardian descriptions and actions of a future world that I don’t think we want to be in but which are vibrant and alive as well as deadly. The story jumps around the map, beginning in Calcutta, India.
Though the idea behind this series is not new–something I’ve been planning for a while–I’ve recently been enjoying Adam Kirsch’s The Global Novel: Writing the World in the 21st Century.
In his book, Kirsch states:
The global novel exists, not as a genre separated from and opposed to other kinds of fiction, but as a perspective that governs the interpretation of experience. In this way, it is faithful to the way the global is actually lived–not through the abolition of place, but as a theme by which place is mediated. Life lived here is experienced in its profound and often unsettling connections with life lived elsewhere, and everywhere. The local gains dignity, and significance, insofar as it can be seen as a part of a worldwide phenomenon.
One of the things eco-fiction is concerned about is the environmental destruction of the planet. World eco-fiction lifts the gaze above the norm and into a worldly perspective in which authors and artists understand that ecological collapse is both a global concern and a local one. In essence, it’s something everyone is or will be affected by, yet in different ways. It’s this concept that drives the new global eco-fiction series. I’ve always been intrigued by diversity yet common ground–cultural differences yet universal understandings. I believe in travel through imagination, people world-round working together to mitigate such catastrophes as climate change, extinction, and dwindling biodiversity.