The coronavirus has been disastrous for authors and publishers, with shops shut, publication dates pushed back, book tours cancelled and publicity plans in ruins. One exception to that rule is the Texan writer Lawrence Wright, whose new thriller, The End of October, will be published earlier than initially planned.
The reason is the book’s uncanny prescience. The End of October is a thought experiment that asks what would happen if the world were to be hit by a deadly virus in early 2020. In the novel, a new influenza called Kongoli triggers global meltdown. In the real world, a new coronavirus has upended all of our lives.