Authors Margaret Atwood and John Grisham will be among the contributors to upcoming collaborative novel Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering. The novel will be based on the events of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Background Information About the Novel
The plot of the novel will centre on the global spread of the pandemic. It will also involve how the characters relate to it. The novel will be set in an apartment located in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Events in the story will take place during the peak of the pandemic in early 2020.
In a statement regarding her contributions to Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering, Atwood, who recruited several contributors to help write the novel, said, “The cast of lively fictional characters on the Manhattan rooftop in Fourteen Days have much to say to one another about life during the pandemic and even more about life in general, sometimes getting into discussions, debates, or outright quarrels – and sometimes finding resolution in unexpected moments of empathy and connection.”
The Canadian author who also served as the novel’s editor added, “To provide a narrative framework, we structured the work so that the building’s (superintendent) records the stories and conversations on her cell phone to create an unauthorized guerilla text.”
Many other authors contributed to the novel. They include Monique Truong, Ishmael Reed, Celeste Ng, Emma Donoghue, Dave Eggers, Diana Gabaldon, Angie Cruz, and Tess Gerritsen. The novel’s release will be in the spring of 2022.
The Idea Behind the Novel
According to novelist and Authors Guild Foundation president Douglas Preston, the idea for Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering came about as an idea to raise money for the foundation. Preston mentioned that the concept for the novel was based on that found in The Decameron, a collection of novellas written by Giovanni Boccaccio between 1348 and 1353. The ideas found in The Decameron could easily be tied into those related to Covid-19 which will be found in Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering. This is because The Decameron took place in Italy during the period of the Black Death.
“At the Guild, we realized that we had an opportunity in these dark times to do something positive and even transformative through the creation of this unusual literary work. Human beings have always confronted tragedy by telling stories, and this book would be our answer to Covid-19,” said Preston.
The identity of the writer of each portion of the novel will remain anonymous for most of the book. Readers only discover the identities at the end of the book. On this matter, Preston said, “Reading the book is a fun literary guessing game, but it has a deeper message too, being a thumb in the eye of literary celebrityhood and the fetish of the byline.”
22nd March 2021 16:31
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