Epidemic novel

  Last year, due to the impact of the city closure due to the epidemic, the Edinburgh International Book Festival was first announced to be cancelled and later changed to online. To some extent, the change to live online programs has allowed the world’s largest book festival to have more participants. Those who love books can not only watch it at home, but it is also completely free.
  At the beginning of the year, the organizers announced that this year’s book festival will be held as scheduled, and will adopt a hybrid method of online and on-site parallel. For many years, the book festival has been held at Charlotte Square in Edinburgh’s “New Town”. This year it was changed to the large courtyard of the Edinburgh College of Art in the “Old Town” because the facilities there can be borrowed to help maintain social distance.
  The number of book festivals with live audiences is limited, but all programs will be broadcast live online. Facts have proved that this year’s book festival is still dominated by online live broadcast is far-sighted, because the Scottish government recently announced that the lockdown measures will not be lifted until mid-August at the earliest. The author estimates that there will still be restrictions on indoor gatherings at that time.
  The program list of this year’s book festival has not yet been announced, but it is conceivable that there will be many activities on the theme of the new crown epidemic. Since last year, many books on this subject have been published, and there are even picture books specially created for children under 12 years old. Some of these works are more urgent and more like news compilations; some analyze public health policies and preventive response measures from a professional perspective, such as “New Crown Disaster” by Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the medical journal The Lancet; some It is to use the topic to explain his own theory, such as Zizek’s “New Crown Shakes the World” (Pan (dem) ic! COVID-19 Shakesthe World). Other books focus on broader topics, such as how humans deal with the two major challenges of climate change and the new crown epidemic.
  But these are non-fiction books, what about novels? I believe that this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival will definitely invite Scottish female writer Allie Smith, because her novel “Summer” published in August last year is the first British novel involving the COVID-19 pandemic.
  ”Summer” is the last part of Smith’s “Four Seasons Series” novels. She started writing this series in 2015, each of which is based on major news that occurred at the time of writing. The first is “Autumn”, which was published in 2016. She started writing “Summer” in January last year. The plot in the book involved several important events in 2020: the new crown epidemic, the Australian bushfires, Brexit, and the murder of George Floyd.
  The first three of the “Four Seasons Series” are well received, and “Autumn” is no exception. Recently, it won the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, named after the British writer George Orwell. The judges said that this work is in line with Orwell’s concept of “turning political writing into an art”.
  Smith’s “Autumn” has set an almost insurmountable example for novelists. In the next few years, will there be more and more novels based on the new crown epidemic?
  British author Laura Spinney (Laura Spinney) once wrote a book about the Spanish flu in 1918. She pointed out that although the Spanish flu caused about 50 million deaths, it has received far less attention in literary creation. It is far less than the World War I of the same period, at least in English literature. For example, the lives of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and others have been affected by the Spanish flu, but they have not been reflected in the creation of novels. What is the reason behind this, there is no convincing answer yet.
  Some people say that historical research is to let us know what happened, while the task of fiction is to let us understand what the characters in history are thinking. From this point of view, I hope that more novels on this subject will appear, because the new crown epidemic has changed the lives of almost everyone in the world.

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