Pluvial Time/Wet Form

Publication Type:

Journal Article


New Literary History, Volume 51, Number 2, p.455–472 (2020)



, Abstract:, This article explores representations of rain, and particularly intense, climate-change induced heavy rainfall and flooding, in three novels published in 2019—from India, Thailand, and Zambia, respectively. The term I use to denote this explorative terrain is taken from the earth sciences: the "pluvial" refers to rain that causes flooding, often in sea rivers and estuaries, and is a denotative field that has received little sustained attention in the literary humanities. I am interested in the temporal dimensions of the pluvial as a narrative event or condition, and how pluvial time might shape its own original pathway into contemporary debates about what becomes possible for the global novel form in an era of accelerating climate change.


Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press