Authors and publishers are racing to give their own accounts on the Coronavirus pandemic by offering their own stories about it. Some of them are autobiographical accounts, and others are spiritual guides. Some examples of books that are coming soon are Pandemic! by Slavoj Zizek, COVID-19 by Deborah MacKenzie, Wuhan Diary by Fang Fang, and Quarantine! How I Survived the Diamond Princess Coronavirus Crisis by Gay Courter, whose book isn’t available yet, but keep an eye out for that if you’re interested!
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So, now we can start to glimpse first-hand on detailed accounts of how this terrible disease is affecting people.
According to The New York Times, Alice Quinn, former Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America, asked various poets if they had written any verses about the pandemic. Sure enough, people responded to her with their ideas and verses, and she was able to combine them all into a book of 85 poems about grief, isolation, boredom, longing, and hope. I think that this is something that we could all take a look at.
The New York Times continues, quoting Quinn: “We’re in a dramatic moment, and everybody is experiencing this drama together. Some of these poets have had the virus, some of the poets have relatives in the hospital and quite a lot of them have lost really dear friends.” This virus is certainly affecting all of us, one way or another, and it’s a true testament to everyone of their courage to write about how the pandemic has done so.
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Of course, the poetry is just one part of the huge surge in COVID-19-related literature popping up, now that it has been around for some time. There are also books coming soon that talk about the economic impact of COVID-19. If you’re interested in that, you can look no further for books like Going Dark by Wall Street Journal reporter Liz Hoffman, and Shutdown by Adam Tooze, both being released in 2021.
Publishers are starting to take notice to recent med student graduates and their narratives in graduating early so they could help with the growing number of Coronavirus patients. One book being released that talks about New York City’s barren streets (due to the shelter-in-place order) is How We Live Now by Bill Hayes. Another one that looks interesting is Coping with Coronavirus by Brendan Kelly.
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Some other books talk about the virus itself, such as Patient Zero by Lydia Kang and Pete Pedersen, which is a collection of case studies and medical histories of Coronavirus patients. There’s a lot of information going around about the Coronavirus, both informed and misinformed, and it might be important to read first-hand accounts from people and doctors. As Sam Raim spoke for The New York Times, saying that he was nervous to quickly publish books based off the news: “I’m always a little dubious of quick books targeted at the news. There’s a lot of proposals going around about Covid, but I felt like this book was one that could be quick and urgent and essential, and around for a long time.”
Narratives around COVID-19 will certainly be around for a long, long time. Though publishing books on an emerging virus is always risky, since new things are continuously being discovered about COVID-19, and published books run the risk of inaccurately portraying information. As doctors and analysts say sometimes, a lot of things are still unknown. As Amanda Urban said in The New York Times, “It’s a hard subject for writers to write, and it’s hard for publishers to buy, because you don’t know what the narrative arc is yet.”
If any of these books I’ve listed interested you, check out the links for those that are currently available! Some that I’ve listed are still not available, so keep an eye out for their release dates!
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