I was interviewed by Hillel Italie from AP last week about why people write plague books. I can’t tell you how weird it is to have a novel coming out about the aftermath of a devastating global pandemic! The piece also features Lawrence Wright’s The End of October, and The Red Lotus by Chris Bojalian.
It’s a cool read. Italie digs into all the ways plagues and pandemics have been written about across the ages, from Boccaccio’s “The Decameron” to Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death”, to Stephen King’s “The Stand”.
As Hillel writes, “Once regarded as divine punishment, they [plagues] have served as parables of greed, tyranny and scientific hubris. They have underscored narratives of escapism, vulnerability and save-the-world heroism. They have been treated as catalysts for what we never imagined becoming — and for confirmation of what we were all along.”
Afterland comes out later this year in the UK, South Africa, and the United States.