Big-Name Writers Teaming Up on a Pandemic Novel

Including John Grisham and Margaret Atwood
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 18, 2021 4:07 PM CDT
Atwood, Grisham, Others to Combine on a Novel
John Grisham and Margaret Atwood will be among the contributing writers.   (AP Photo)

One of the first novels about the pandemic will be a collaborative effort, with Margaret Atwood, John Grisham, and Celeste Ng among the writers, per the AP. The Authors Guild Foundation announced Thursday that it had reached a deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media to publish Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering. The story is set on a Manhattan rooftop in 2020 as the virus spreads worldwide and the rich are fleeing the city. Atwood is editing Fourteen Days and helped recruit a wide range of contributors, including Dave Eggers, Ishmael Reed, Monique Truong, Hampton Sides, Mary Pope Osborne, and Emma Donoghue. The novel is tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2022.

“The cast of lively fictional characters on the Manhattan rooftop in ‘Fourteen Days’ have much to say to one another about life during the pandemic and even more about life in general, sometimes getting into discussions, debates or outright quarrels—and sometimes finding resolution in unexpected moments of empathy and connection,” Atwood said in a statement. Novelist and Authors Guild President Douglas Preston came up with the idea as a way to raise money for the foundation. Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins made a “major” donation to the Guild foundation to support the project, though it wasn't immediately clear if she would be one of the contributing writers.

(More writers stories.)

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