The common thought in everybody’s minds today is how life is increasingly resembling fiction. Such an analogy seems only fitting for the surreal circumstances. However, fiction often does help us make better sense of the world.
Over the years, there have been several novels on pandemics, be it Albert Camus’ The Plague, which readers are picking up with renewed interest, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love In The Time of Cholera.
Here are some books on a similar theme.
The Plague by Albert Camus
Written in 1947, Camus’ The Plague is set against a plague that breaks out in Oran, a coastal town in North Africa and rapidly spreads. The crisis drives people to unimaginable lengths of survival, suffering and also compassion.
The Stand by Stephen King
The 1978 novel marks the collapse of the world with a computer error in a Defense Department laboratory. This leads to scores of deaths. What remains is the new world, not braver but emptier and filled with a handful of survivors.
Blindness by José Saramago
In Saramago’s 1995 novel, a city is afflicted with an epidemic: white blindness. Ruthless and unsparing, it attacks everybody. What follows is people with a loss of vision being admitted to mental hospitals but the ordeal is far from over. Blindness is as much an ode as it is a commentary of the 20th century, where the Nobel Laureate assumes the role of a philosopher and poet.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A story of star-crossed lovers and unrequited love smelling of bitter almonds is rooted in an exigency, that is both literal and metaphorical. The 1985 novel has assumed cult status and at present its title has provided inspiration for many headlines.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Atwood is known for providing a glimpse of the future, presented in a way only she is capable of imagining. Oryx and Crake is at once real and magical, an unforgettable love story and a blinding, discomfiting picture of what is yet to come.
Which, among these, have you read?
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