In this installment of the Adults at Home series, Fairfax librarian April Hayley writes about coping with current events through dystopian literature.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling down, listening to songs that mirror my anguish makes me feel better. Similarly, during times of uncertainty and fear like the one we are all facing now, I find myself turning to anxiety-driven dystopian books that satisfy my need for connection to others in a similar state of mind.
Since I have no access to print books at the library at the moment, I have been enjoying Hoopla*, a digital book service you can access with your library card which delivers titles instantly. Below are some of the books available on Hoopla either as eBooks or eAudiobooks.
(*Restrictions to using Hoopla apply based on your home address.)
I recommend starting off by downloading Nalo Hopkinson’s short story collection Falling in Love with Hominids, a blend of fantasy, science fiction, and folklore. It starts out with “Easthound,” a story about children who band together to survive a mysterious illness that has turned all adults into monsters and threatens to infect them as they grow older.
Ling Ma’s 2018 Severance is an intersectional horror-satire that blends the drudgery of office life and the horrors of modern capitalism in a post-apocalyptic world that has been swept by a pandemic which turns people into zombies.
The Decameron, inspired by the Black Death of 1348, tells a hundred stories of ten young men and women who have fled Florence and are quarantining together at an abandoned country villa.
Maybe when our own plague subsides, I will check out some cozy mysteries or uplifting biographies, but for now, I am sticking to dystopia.
More of April’s Dystopian Picks
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, illustrated by David Lloyd
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, illustrated by Tony Parker
Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The Last Man by Mary Shelley
Blindness by Jose Saramago
A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
Gone by Michael Grant
Editing and formatting: Ana.