John Green wrote his new book The Anthropocene Reviewed as a reflection of human existence. Inspired by his life and by the way the pandemic affected our world, the book is a collection of essays that explores the temporal range of the human species.
On his virtual book tour for The Anthropocene Reviewed, the acclaimed author of The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska partnered with bookstores and special guests to share about his experience writing the new book. On the Southern Regional Stop of his tour on Wednesday, Green was joined by special guest and vlogger Hank Green, with whom he shares popular YouTube channel Vlogbrothers.
Green has primarily been an author of fiction, and the essays in The Anthropocene Reviewed allow him to branch into a different type of writing as he taps into the reality of the human condition. The writer said that his new book allows him to open up to the reader and to write more personally about his own thoughts. This newfound honesty was both frightening and powerful for Green.
“Because it’s the first time I’ve tried to write about myself on it, I wanted to respect my boundaries, I wanted to know where the line was,” Green said. “But I also wanted to write up to [the line] because I knew that the more space I can make by going within myself, the more opportunities a reader might have to find language or expression or form for something they’re experiencing that they might not have language or expression or form for.”
Green said that working on the essays of The Anthropocene Reviewed was also an opportunity for him to write in a new way. “Feelings aren’t language-based, at least for me, and so I’m trying to get some kind of structure and form to this wildly abstract stuff,” Green said.
During the book tour, Green discussed how the book came to life. He said that he worked on the book for a long three and a half years, but the worldwide pandemic really changed his perspective on his writings.
“Many of the essays in the book were started before the pandemic began,” Green said. “After the pandemic started in the United States, I found myself going back to some of the old essays and reading them differently and thinking about them differently.”
The Anthropocene Reviewed is a rumination of our society and of humankind, and during the book tour, Green also discussed some of the issues ailing society, such as climate change. Although Green said it would take an enormous amount of work to address the problems modern society faces, he also encourages people to be optimistic: “I think that how much progress we still have to make sometimes masks how much progress we’ve made in terms of helping people understand the size of the problem.”
John Green’s The Anthropocene Reviewed, which is now available for purchase here, takes a unique perspective of our current society and situates it within the entirety of our species’ existence. These essays take a fresh look at our world and explores the trajectory of our species to demonstrate the strength and resilience of the human spirit.