Bellagio Library/

Under a White Sky

by Elizabeth Kolbert

(Image by Barry Goldstein)

The Pulitzer-Prize winning author, Elizabeth Kolbert, completed a residency at The Bellagio Center in 2019. During her residency, Elizabeth worked on Under a White Sky. She has received two National Magazine Awards for her writing for the New Yorker, where she is a staff writer.

A few words with Elizabeth

“When I began my residency at The Bellagio Centre, I was about a third of the way through the book. My time there allowed me to think through the structure of the book and also to think through what material I would need to complete it. I was trying to write to a broad, international audience, and my conversations at Bellagio allowed me to gauge what people could – and could not – be expected to know about the topics I was writing on.”


That man should have dominion “over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” is a prophecy that has hardened into fact. So pervasive are human impacts on the planet that it’s said we live in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene.

In Under a White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. Along the way, she meets biologists who are trying to preserve the world’s rarest fish, which lives in a single tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave; engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland; Australian researchers who are trying to develop a “super coral” that can survive on a hotter globe; and physicists who are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere to cool the earth.

Explore More

To find out more about Elizabeth’s work and see her photos from the field whilst researching the book visit her website.

You can connect with Elizabeth on Twitter or Facebook.