Knock Twice – can stories can point the way to a sustainable future?

It feels like a good time to launch a book of modern folk tales that are entertaining, surprising and troubling. And not just because it’s Hallowe’en.

Knock Twice is a collection of new stories. Folk tales throughout history explore the extremes of human experience and help us make sense of them. 

The image below comes from Norway, drawn by Theodor Kittelsen, born in 1857. From the folk tale hero Askeladden (Ash Lad) to the water sprite Nokken, stories were a way to connect up Norwegians under the impositions of Danish rule.

These tales are far our modern times but Knock Twice continues the tradition with modern folk tales, from mobile phones to the refugee crisis, celebrity, climate change and banking. 

I have contributed one story, drawing on tales I have picked up on my travels in the world of co-operative enterprise. And that’s what makes the book interesting is that the other authors too come from a range of settings on the frontiers of sustainabilty and social change – including leading authorities on the earth sciences, the environment, finance and economics.

Philip Pullman has commented, on the first collection in this series, There was a Knock at the Door, that “stories are one of the most ancient and most effective ways of making sense of the world… When we try to live a good life in a world we seem to be simultaneously destroying, there is nothing more valuable or worth encouraging.

Knock Twice is curated by Andrew Simms, author of Cancel the Apocalypse and co-founder of the co-operative think tank the New Weather Institute

The book is published by the Real Press, as a paperback, an ebook and a Kindle edition.

Are you ever bewildered by the modern world and the prospects for a sustainable future? These are modern folk tales for troubling times because we’re unlikely to get a better world without using our imagination. 

Knock twice, open the covers and see what happens…

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