A counterlife without the pandemic? Try the fictional take

by Rashmee

Posted on November 28, 2020


In Emily St John Mandel’s ‘The Glass Hotel’, a young female protagonist, Vincent Smith, imagines multiple counterfactual histories, including one in which the swine flu “hadn’t been swiftly contained.” The omniscient narrator then notes: “She [Vincent] could only play this game for so long before she was overcome by a kind of vertigo and had … Continue reading “A counterlife without the pandemic? Try the fictional take”

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Why books and films about outbreaks are surging

by Rashmee

Posted on May 4, 2020 / The National


On April 28, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright’s first novel, The End of October, was published, dropping silently into my Kindle reader because it was on pre-order. There is every chance the novel, though not an especially good read, will sell well. For, it is seen as prescient in a world afflicted by Covid-19. Set … Continue reading “Why books and films about outbreaks are surging”

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New ‘Pla-Fi’ or Plague Fiction is not half as good as ‘Cli-Fi’, stories about climate change

by Rashmee

Posted on May 1, 2020


T’was well said that the three existential threats to humanity are pandemics, climate change and nuclear weapons. Unsurprisingly then, all three are popular subjects for novelists. Right now, stories about pestilence are doing rather well, even when some of them should not. In terms of unreadable Plague Fiction or “Pla-Fi”, I direct your attention to Pulitzer … Continue reading “New ‘Pla-Fi’ or Plague Fiction is not half as good as ‘Cli-Fi’, stories about climate change”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK