Having recently read Don De Lillo's Underworld and Bill Duncan's The Smiling School for Calvinists I've been thinking about how the environment features in contemporary fiction. Neither of these books really focuses on the environment as such but both make powerful environmental statements nonetheless. Underworld is a big novel that disects the 20th Century USA using two defining elements - baseball and waste disposal. Characters are seen sorting out their trash into the different materials that can be recycled, ships saile around the world looking for a harbour where they can dump their illegal cargoes of waste and an architect builds beautiful buildings from waste materials.
The Smiling School for Calvinists is an entertaining look at life in the poorer parts of Dundee in Scotland, made up of short stories and snippets, mostly written in a form of Scots (for more about the language used in the book, see this post on my other blog Over Forty Shades). It's mostly a very urban book, but from time to time a character will take time out to go for a walk or to sit on the roof of the multi-storey block of flats to watch the geese fly by.
Both these books show writers who are in touch with the environment and environmental issues, but who are not willing to focus entirely on the environment. I wonder though do people who are not engaged with environmental issues notice these aspects to the books they read? What do you think of the way nature and environmental issues are portrayed in the novels and short stories you read?