The Solastalgia Book List 

by It’s Freezing in LA!



In July, climate magazine It’s Freezing in LA! and maat presented climate literature workshops on the theme of Solastalgia: a sense of homesickness as environments and landscapes change.  


The term Solastalgia was coined by philosopher and thinker Glenn Albrecht, who describes it as a:


“concept developed to give greater meaning and clarity to environmentally induced distress. As opposed to nostalgia – the melancholia or homesickness experienced by individuals when separated from a loved home – solastalgia is the distress that is produced by environmental change impacting on people while they are directly connected to their home environment.” 


Since climate change is directly responsible for changes wrought on homes and environments across the world, understanding solastalgia must be an essential part of climate literature and writing. IFLA! recommends the following fiction and non-fiction reading:


Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World 

Glenn A. Albrecht — Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2019. 

Earth Emotions



Go in depth on the term solastalgia, and other words exploring our changing planet. 


  • Know more about this book here.



Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays 

Paul Kingsnorth — Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, 2017.


Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays



Challenging, profound and ultimately uplifting, this collection of essays charts the change in Kingsnorth's attitude towards environmentalism during a lifetime of activism.


  • Know more about this book here.



The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable  

Amitav Ghosh — The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2016. 


The Great Derangement



Ghosh explores why climate change is so difficult to write about, and issues a clarion call to writers, artists and thinkers to apply their imaginations to the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. 


  • Know more about this book here.



Chernobyl Prayer  

Svetlana Alexievich — Penguin Random House, London, 2016 (1997). 


Chernobyl Prayer



This deeply affecting book presents the voices of locals, scientists and clean-up workers in the years following the Chernobyl disaster.


  • Read here a review by Nicholas Lezard



As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock   

Dina Gilio-Whitaker — Beacon Press, Boston, 2019.  


As long as grass grows



This book explores climate resistance from an Indigenous perspective, highlighting a key fact that is only now reaching colonial eyes but which Indigenous protesters have written about for a long time: climate struggle and the struggle for rights are one and the same.


  • Read here a selection of passages.



Modern Nature: Journals, 1989 – 1990  

Derek Jarman — Vintage, London, 2018 (1991). 


Modern Nature



Filmmaker Derek Jarman's journals chart a year in his life building his gardens on the bleak coast of Kent, UK in the shadow of his HIV diagnosis and the local power station.


  • Read here Olivia Laing’s personal take on this book.


Writing for a Substantially Altered World is an online climate literature workshop by the magazine It's Freezing in LA! on the theme of Solastalgia. Developed over three sessions in June 2020, the workshop was conceived and coordinated by Martha Dillon (editor) and Nina Carter (art director and co-creative director), with the special participations of Aché Atta-Boateng (biologist), Billie Manning (poet), Charlotte Ager (illustrator), Elizabeth Joyce (biologist), Lizzie Roeble (evolutionary biologist), Nicolas Baird (palaeontologist) and Phoebe Nightingale (writer).



Illustration by Charlotte Ager for Rhea Nandy’s piece in IFLA! Issue 5


Illustration by Charlotte Ager for Phoebe Thomson’s piece in "IFLA!" Issue 5.



Illustration by Hannah Buckman for Rhea Nandy’s piece in IFLA! Issue 5


Illustration by Hannah Buckman for Rhea Nandy’s piece in "IFLA!" Issue 5.