Navigating humor’s potentials for violence and for creative and critical connections with oceanic catastrophes, from extinctions to sea-level rise, this essay argues that humor is a diverse and perhaps important dimension of contemporary cultural production about the changing oceans. Jane Rawson’s A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists uses humor to emphasize fictional people’s challenging and idiosyncratic daily struggles to survive in a future marked by sea-level rise and other climate-related processes. The novel’s absurd tragicomic tensions situate climate change as violence that is, at some level, unrepresentable. Its humor stresses not only the immense difficulties faced by characters who navigate in this future but also the deep socioeconomic inequality with which such difficulties are bound up, opening the narrative toward efforts to achieve climate justice.

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