Joe Moran looks at books on how to keep calm in times of adversity - and take joy where we find it The coronavirus has put life on hold. In this time of fractured human contact and fear of the unknown, we need to read authors who will embolden us for the hard season ahead, while also offering a calming sense of perspective.Eula Biss’s book-length essay On Immunity does the trick. She begins with the story of Achilles, whose mother dipped him in the river Styx only to leave the vulnerable spot on his heel where she held him. The story’s moral, in Biss’s words, is that “immunity is a myth … and no mortal can ever be made invulnerable”. And yet she admits that she found this message hard to accept after the birth of her son in 2009 – especially when, shortly afterwards, the swine flu epidemic began. Biss explores how hard it is for even the most clear-eyed of us not to succumb to panic and dread. Continue reading...
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Ahmet Altan, author of the new book “I Will Never See the World Again,” has been...Ahmet Altan, author of the new book “I Will Never See the World Again,” has been imprisoned for life. I’m being treated for a brain tumor. We’re both determined to keep going.