While Ruth Ozeki’s earlier novels My Year of Meats (1998) and All Over Creation (2003) focus on environmental degradation and unethical practices in the food industry, A Tale for the Time Being(2013) embraces several broader political, cultural, and societal issues and connects them with ecological concerns. The nature of reality, the often blurred boundaries between fact and fiction, the relationship between time and space, the connection between colonization and environmental injustice, and the effects of “slow violence” (Nixon) are among the novel’s major topics. In its search for narrative solutions to environmental problems, it questions the assumptions of 20th-century proto-environmentalist BC texts in an attempt to draw attention to the complexities of the region’s local and global ecological and political interdependencies. By reworking relevant themes of the earlier texts and by affiliating herself with some contemporary ecocritical BC writers, Ozeki also explores her position as an American Canadian writer. The novel thus also raises questions about the status of Canadian ecocriticism.
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