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Ten Suggestions For Titles Of Books About the Pandemic

Updated on July 25, 2020

If The Single Death In Dreiser's Book Was Tragedy, No Term Could Suit The Thousands of Lives Taken By COVID-19


For those of you compiling your observations about this year in writing, at some point you will need a title for the book that holds them. Journal of the Plague Year has already been used, way back when author Daniel Defoe covered the widespread deaths from the distemper in 1665.

Also taken is the simple title The Plague, even though the noun is used as a metaphor in the novel by Albert Camus. The plague known as the Black Death was given the name The Decameron, since author Giovanni Bocaccio decided to describe the 14th century epidemic through ten tales of its survivors.

Titles cannot be copywrighted, so your book about the coronavirus could use one of the above mentioned. You could also recycle the names of other classic books, which are not even about global sickness.

Here are ten famous titles, or takes on them, that could be used for a book about the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Far From the Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy's Victorian tale about Gabriel and Bathsheba could serve as a fitting title, given that the best way to avoid the virus is to shun crowds.

2. The Main in the Iron Mask
Judging by the way some folks have complained about requirements for face coverings, one would think they were being asked to don the headgear in this French classic by Alexander Dumas.

3. An American Tragedy
THeodore Dreiser's sad tome focused on the eventual death of Clyde Griffiths, so it would be even more of a tragedy when put in context of the way the United States has mishandled the COVID-19.

4. Adam "Bead"
The coronavirys spreads through drops of sweat, thus explaining the spelling change in the George Eliot novel.

5. The 89 Steps
Medical experts have stressed keeping six feet away from anyone, which my often inaccurate math estimates to be fifty more steps than the amount in the book by John Buchan.

6. The Catcher Is the Lye
Holden Caufield, the protagonist in J.D. Salinger's masterpiece, would thrive in the isolation induced by the virus, which is best prevented by thorough cleansing with soap.

7. Off the Road
No one wants to travel because of the risk of contracting the bug, so Jack Kerouac would be asked to keep his vehicle in the garage.

8. "Germ"inal
Emile Zola starkly covers the plight of downtrodden workers in this novel, whose title naturally lends itself to 2020 as well.

9. Ragtime
Cleaning cloths have been essential in preventing the spread of the virus, so E.L. Doctorow's most well-known literary work about life in 1900 New York City works in the current crisis.

10. Late Expectations
Our political leaders were criminally tardy to address the seriousness of the virus, thus the take on the Charles Dickens tale about Pip.


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