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The Crack Magazine


The New Wilderness by Diane Cooke

We may not need another book about the assumed dystopia we all face due to climate change. But this is a good one, and it’s good because part of what happens in the book is happening already. We can see the well-off creating their bunkers of safety in suburbs walled off from the rest of humanity and this is what Diane Cooke develops in The New Wilderness. Humanity parcelled out into areas of economic and social need. The earth no longer capable of supporting free human activity. The story then concerns a group of people who’ve been tasked to survive in The Wilderness State for undisclosed reasons which become clearer as the book nears its end. It’s also about how families and extended families survive under the pressures wrought by both the natural world and the shadowy figures who run The Wilderness State. It’s also about mothers and daughters and how those relationship buckle under the stresses mentioned above and the stresses of being women in a world in which men have manipulated this new reality to their own needs and how everyone now pays the cost. A beautifully written gut-punch of a book and a perfect counterpoint to all those people having fun on the beach.

The New Wilderness – Diane Cooke, publ. by Oneworld - £8.99

Steven Long

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