In a recent issue of n 1, contributor Nausicaa Renner formally renounced reading essays about coronavirus. Until quarantine ends, she wrote, "I vow to only read fiction. For me, the well of individual experience has run dry." For me, though, reading fiction is no guarantee of release from my anxieties about health and country. Nor do I always want that release. But when I do, I turn to fiction that lives at least a little bit outside the realm of the possible. The two story collections and two novels below, arranged from least to most otherworldly, have guided me away from my concerns—and then helped me return, re-energized.
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