Talking about books and eating snacks – is there a better way to spend a Friday afternoon? Our Senior Bookclub doesn’t think so!
During our last meeting we discussed how an extensive range of YA books has been written about catastrophic events, including virus pandemics, as well as teenagers surviving in a post-apocalyptic world.
In a strange similarity to 2020 events, Dean Koontz’s 1981 novel, The Eyes of Darkness, mentions a deadly biological weapon ‘Wuhan-400’, developed at the RDNA lab outside Wuhan. In Emily St. John Mandel’s novel Station Eleven, published back in 2014, the highly contagious Georgia Flu is transported around the world from Russia, and kills 90% of its victims within 12 hours. Within a few short days, the world is in chaos as transport and essential services grind to a halt. A doctor urges his friend to stock up on food and stay in his apartment, so he purchases seven trolley loads of food and essentials from the supermarket, including one of toilet paper! Planes full of virus-laden passengers are reminiscent of this year’s cruise ships laden with Coronavirus patients, waiting out at sea and denied access to ports.
Along with these interestingly similar scenarios, we discussed whether or not we are living now in an apocalyptic world; how authors might write about this time period in the future; whether the dissolution of law and order is an inevitable outcome of a cataclysmic event; and which three things would be the top priorities to save for future generations. Suggestions were: seeds, animals, books, and artworks/artefacts.
All in all, it was a very thought-provoking afternoon!