While you’re quarantined or “social distancing,” read Ling Ma’s stunning short debut novel, Severance. A pandemic strikes, and a culture based on extreme individualism, consumerism, meaningless and repetitive work simply can’t cope. Candace Chen, constantly consuming on-line, isolated at her desk and wrapped up in her tiresome routines in a New York office tower, barely notices when Shen Fever sweeps the city and wipes out almost everyone. Soon entirely alone and still without fever, she photographs the abandoned city and posts her pictures as the NY Ghost. Read it, and let me know.

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