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Hell and high water: eco-anxiety dominates Jenny Offill’s latest novel

21 February 2020

10:00 PM

21 February 2020

10:00 PM

Weather Jenny Offill

Granta, pp.207, £12.99

Lizzie, the narrator of Jenny Offill’s impressive third novel Weather, is ‘enmeshed’ with her brother, according to her psychologist-cum-meditation teacher. The word ‘mesh’ returns a few pages later, in a podcast, referring to the interconnectedness of different species: ‘a better term than “web”, they think’. With its paradoxical meaning of both containing spaces and joining things together, ‘mesh’ could be used to describe the unusual form of this novel, which is written in short paragraphs, separated widely on the page, yielding a patchwork of Lizzie’s fragmentary thoughts and observations about life in contemporary New York, and the people caught up...

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