Influenza Pandemic of 1918 -- fiction recommendations?
August 22, 2014 2:11 PM   Subscribe

What are your recommendations for fiction that considers the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, either as a main focus or as a backdrop?

I've already got:

They Came Like Swallows, Maxwell
Wickett's Remedy, Goldberg
Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Porter
Divining Women, Gibbons

I feel like there must be more out there considering the effect it had on the world. What can you recommend? I strongly prefer fiction, as I would like to see how it is treated in that medium, and as I have a fantastic non-fiction book about it already.
posted by janey47 to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
What is that fantastic non-fiction book?
posted by Melismata at 2:16 PM on August 22, 2014

Best answer: The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
posted by SemiSalt at 2:17 PM on August 22, 2014

Response by poster: Melismata, it's this one. Very well written and engrossing. And this is coming from someone who reads a lot of medical narratives (don't ask me why, there's no reason, it just is).
posted by janey47 at 2:29 PM on August 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen is a great one. It's about a secluded town in the Pacific NW that quarantines itself during the pandemic.
posted by cushie at 2:40 PM on August 22, 2014

Best answer: Thomas Savage: The Liar
Kate Atkinson: Life After Life
Vasco Pratolini: Cronaca familiare (Two Brothers; Family Chronicle)
posted by TheRaven at 2:40 PM on August 22, 2014

Best answer: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
posted by amapolaroja at 2:49 PM on August 22, 2014

Best answer: The flu features in Dennis Lehane's The Given Day, although the book focuses mostly on the leadup to the Boston Police strike. I should warn you that I'm halfway through it and it kinda sucks in some ways, while covering a fair amount of history with a moderate amount of inaccuracy.
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 3:28 PM on August 22, 2014

The Nine Tailors is my favorite Sayers, but it takes place well after 1918. Deaths from influenza play an important role in the plot, but it doesn't take place during the great pandemic.
posted by rtha at 3:42 PM on August 22, 2014

Best answer: "A Death-Struck Year" is a brand-new YA book about the 1918 pandemic.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 4:38 PM on August 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Gerald Green wrote a novel called The Last Angry Man which was made into a famous movie. I haven't seen the film but the story concerns an old doctor in Brooklyn in the 1950s and the book goes into his early days treating patients during the epidemic.
posted by Rash at 4:55 PM on August 22, 2014

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