Chuck Collins, author of numerous books, including 2021’s The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions, has long been known for his detailed and factual studies of economic inequality. But Collins’s latest effort is a work of fiction. Altar to an Erupting Sun asks us to consider what is morally justified in the face of looming ecological disaster. In its opening pages, protagonist Rae Kelliher — a dying activist in the final weeks of her life — decides to violate her own long-standing commitment to nonviolence to kill a fossil fuel CEO, to the disapproval of those around her. The rest of Collins’ book consists in a journey through Rae’s life, exploring her formation as an activist, her relationships and influences, and the roots of her final, controversial act.

Jacobin’s Luke Savage sat down with Collins to discuss Altar to an Erupting Sun, the provocations offered by its main character, and the decision he made at twenty-one to give away his own substantial inheritance.

Read the full interview at Jacobin.

Chuck Collins directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, where he also co-edits 

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