Roof of the world
The Roof of the World: a story collection. The Roof of the World illuminates the struggles of explorers, expats, refugees, tourists, and others who don’t feel at home in the world or in their own bodies. Ambition and yearning, love and loss drive characters on journeys—literal and figurative—to discover who they really are. What does it mean to be a hero? A parent? A person worthy of love? The flawed protagonists tackle these and other questions in their uncertain and sometimes reluctant quests to carve out identities and make meaning in the mundane, absurd, and transformative moments of their lives. Human/Nature Otherness: An Ecocritical Examination of Stories by Andrea Barrett and Anthony Marra. This essay examines to what degrees the characters in selected stories of Barrett’s Ship Fever and Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno embrace a post-secular viewpoint (as outlined in Alexander Hampton’s article “Post-secular Nature and the New Nature Writing”) and achieve a meaningful relationship with the natural world. This essay explores the barriers that people (individuals as well as nations) construct to keep nature separate and assesses how concepts of awe and humility may contribute to maintaining or dissolving those barriers. Jane Bennett and Rita Felski’s criticism concerning enchantment offers additional ways to consider how the characters fail or succeed to relinquish a sense of control and experience nature—and themselves —anew. Finally, the essay deliberates ways to bridge the human/nature dichotomy, considering questions of species modesty, anthropocentrism, exploitation, blowback, and the possibilities that language affords.