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  • Writer's pictureCatharine Riggs

Holiday Pandemic Reads

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

In honor of this period of self-isolation, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite pandemic/dystopian reads. Enjoy!

Pale Horse, Pale Rider. Katherine Anne Porter. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author's semi-autobiographical novella about a young reporter who contracts the 1918 Spanish flu.

The Road, Cormac McCarthy. A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the apocalypse. Dark yet beautifully written, a heartrending story about a father’s love for his son.

Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel. A finalist for the National Book Award, the novel follows the travails of a Shakespearean Theater Company in post-apocalyptic North America.

The Children of Men, P.D. James. The crime writer’s dystopian novel features a world where all males have become infertile and no child will be born again.

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the Nobel Laureate’s dystopian science fiction novel about a doomed sub-race of human clones.

The Plague, Albert Camus. The Nobel Laureate’s 1947 novel set in a North Algerian city at battle with the plague. Steeped in philosophical wisdom; an examination of the absurd.

The Masque of the Red Death, Edgar Allan Poe. Classic short story about a Prince who, in order to escape a plague, locks the gates to his abbey and parties with his friends while the commoners suffer outside.

The Great Influenza, John M. Barry. 2004 New York Times bestseller that examines the 1918 flu pandemic. This was my “go-to” research book for a recently completed novel.

The World Without Us, Alan Weisman. Another New York Times bestseller. Delves into the minutia of how the world might change should humans disappear.

That’s a wrap for now. Enjoy your holiday and stay healthy, safe and sane.

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