National bestselling author Lidia Yuknavitch presents her talk "Cli-Fi Bodies, Heart-Born Worlds" First Friday, March 2nd, 2018 in the Whiteman Hall at the Phoenix Art Museum (1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) at 7:00 p.m.
After the talk, Lidia will have a moderated Q&A session with Matt Bell. A book signing will follow in the Great Hall. While this event is open to the public and free, individuals must obtain tickets through the Phoenix Art Museum in order to attend. Tickets can be obtained online through the Phoenix Art Museum's website; assuming tickets do not sell out, tickets may also be obtained at the front desk of Phoenix Art Museum the day-of as well. Unclaimed seats will be released to the general public 5 minutes before Lidia's reading.
Presented in partnership with the Phoenix Art Museum.
About the Talk:
A growing number of contemporary Cli Fi novels are changing what we mean when we say dystopian fiction—Station Eleven, Borne, American War, Future Home of the Living God, and The Book of Joan are all examples where authors are asking how we might radically reinvent our relationship to the planet, each other, and ourselves. What if we loved the planet the way we claim to love our partners or children? What if being meant understanding our existence as relational to eco-systems and animals? What if that stuff we are made of, the matter of the cosmos and universe, isn't as "out there" as we pretend; what if the stories inside of us, including our biology and physiology, our consciousness and emotions, have everything to do with what is around us? What if parallel universes or timelines—as reflected in new scientific discoveries as well as ancient indigenous forms of knowing—are informing our present tense? New directions in narrative help us ask more interesting questions about ourselves and the world—or worlds—we inhabit.
In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet’s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.
Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule—galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one—not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself—can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.
A riveting tale of destruction and love found in the direst of places—even at the extreme end of post-human experience—Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan raises questions about what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the role of art as a means for survival.