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Monday, June 01, 2020

Dystopian novel about a pandemic is published 15 years after it was rejected

With the present times proving every stretch of fiction true, the book has finally been published.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: April 7, 2020 4:05:04 pm
families in lockdown, lockdown period, in quarantine with family, experiences in lockdown, indian express, indian express news The book was rejected for being too unrealistic. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

While some might argue that the world we are living in resembles a dystopian novel,  it has also presented itself as an opportune time for such works to be published. According to a report in The Independent, a novel about a pandemic was rejected 15 years ago, but given the present circumstances, the book has finally been published.

Written by Peter May, the dystopian fiction is set in London, which becomes the epicentre of an outbreak. Ironically, it was rejected by publishers for being too unrealistic.

“At the time I wrote the book, scientists were predicting that bird flu was going to be the next major world pandemic,” May was quoted as saying to CNN. “It was a very, very scary thing and it was a real possibility, so I put a lot of research into it and came up with the idea, what if this pandemic began in London? What could happen if a city like that was completely locked down?”

“British editors at the time thought my portrayal of London under siege by the invisible enemy of H5N1 [bird flu] was unrealistic and could never happen – in spite of the fact that all my research showed that, really, it could,” the author was further quoted as stating to iNews. “I thought about it for a minute before I realised that I’ve kind of already done it,” he recalls. “I told my publisher about it and my editor just about fell out of his chair. He read the entire book overnight and the next morning he said, ‘This is brilliant. We need to publish this now.’”

Titled Lockdown, it will be finally published by Quercus Books. At present, it is available through Amazon UK on Kindle.

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