Selections from the "Pandemic Files" published by The Yale Review, the preeminent journal of literature and ideas
“If only our response to the pandemic on other fronts could have been as speedy and potent as this literary one.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
In beautifully written and powerfully thought prose, A World Out of Reach offers a crucial record of COVID-19 and the cataclysmic spring of 2020—a record for us and for posterity—in the arresting voices of poets, essayists, scholars, and health care workers. Ranging from matters of policy and social justice to ancient history and personal stories of living under lockdown, this vivid compilation from The Yale Review presents a first draft of one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history.
Contributors: Katie Kitamura • Laura Kolbe • Nitin Ahuja • Rena Xu • Alicia Christoff • Miranda Featherstone • Maya C. Popa • Major Jackson • John Witt • Octávio Luiz Motta Ferraz • Joan Naviyuk Kane • Nell Freudenberger • Briallen Hopper • Brandon Shimoda • Yusef Komunyakaa • Laren McClung • Eric O’Keefe-Krebs • Sean Lynch • Millicent Marcus • Meghana Mysore • Rachel Jamison Webster • Emily Ziff Griffin • Rowan Ricardo Philips • Kathryn Lofton • Monica Ferrell • Russell Morse • Randi Hutter Epstein • Noreen Khawaja • Victoria Chang • Joyelle McSweeney • Khameer Kidia • Emily Greenwood • Elisa Gabbert • Emily Bernard • Hafizah Geter • Emily Gogolak • Roger Reeves
About the Author
Meghan O’Rourke is Editor of The Yale Review and the author of the best-selling memoir The Long Goodbye and the poetry collections Once,Halflife, and Sun in Days. She is currently completing a book about contested chronic illness.
“Here diverse contributors, from Zimbabwe to Rikers to Yale itself, discuss their fear for loved ones, their adjustment to new conditions, and their research into historical precedents (AIDS) or structural inequalities behind the pandemic.”—Alexander Wells, Exberliner
“If only our response to the pandemic on other fronts could have been as speedy and potent as this literary one.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“We are still making sense of the COVID-19 pandemic. A World Out of Reach gives us a path towards understanding by offering direction from diverse domains: personal vignettes, poetry, law, public health and history. This multicultural compendium is unflinching in depicting what we face while giving hope that the human spirit is resilient and determined.”—Jerome Groopman, M. D., Harvard Medical School, author of The Measure of Our Days
“A World Out of Reach is a necessary and illuminating archive. . . . Invaluable and absorbing.”—Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings: An Asian-American Reckoning
"'Who are we—who were we—in the pandemic?' Meghan O'Rourke asks in the introduction to this remarkable new anthology. A World Out of Reach is an astonishing look at the early months of COVID-19.”—Jess Row, author of White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination
“This book will be valuable for decades to come for anyone who wants to study, analyze, or simply contemplate what happened to America and the world in 2020.”—Ruth Franklin, author of Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
“This absorbing and impressive gathering—broad in cultural and geographic range—beautifully integrates the immediate with long-range views. This is a special collection.”—Langdon Hammer, Yale University