As writers, we are told to write what we know, but it isn’t possible for anyone to have firsthand knowledge of everything. We turn to secondary sources for an idea of what our characters might have lived through, what they could have seen and felt in situations outside our own experience. Here are some particularly interesting sources relevant to today’s headlines.

Here is a Partial List of Books About Social Protests, Recommended by Goodreads:

  • Demons, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1872)
  • It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis (1935)
  • The Warriors, Sol Yurick (1965)
  • The Gunslinger, Stephen King (1982)
  • Smoky Night, Eve Bunting (1994)
  • Strange Future: Pessimism and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, Min Young Song (2005)
  • Pages Stained with Blood, Indira Goswani (2002)
  • The Devil’s Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America, Barnet Schecter (2005)
  • Riot, Walter Dean Myers (2009)
  • Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America, Cameron McWhirter (2011)
  • The Black Box, Michael Connelly (2012)
  • Bachelor Buttons, Kathleen L. Maher (2013)
  • Jordan’s Stormy Banks, Jefferson Bass (2013)
  • The Harlem Hellfighters, Max Brooks (2014)
  • Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, Sunil Yapa (2016)
  • A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, Claire Hartfield (2017)
  • The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas (2017)
  • In Our Mad and Furious City, Guy Gunaratne (2018)
  • I’m Not Dying With you Tonight, Kimberly Jones (2019)
  • Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots, Margarita Engle (2019)

This is a handy guide for safe and legal protesting.

The 20 Best Books About Pandemics, According to Vulture.com:

  • A Journal of the Plague Year, Daniel Defoe (1722)
  • Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Katherine Anne Porter (1939)
  • The Plague, Albert Camus (1947)
  • The Andromeda Strain, Michael Crichton (1969)
  • The Stand, Stephen King (1978)
  • Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Márquez (1985)
  • Journals of the Plague Years, Norman Spinard (1988)
  • The Child Garden, Geoff Ryman (1989)
  • Ammonite, Nicola Griffith (1992)
  • Beauty Salon, Mario Bellatín (1994)
  • Blindness, José Saramago (1995)
  • The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson (2002)
  • Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood (2003)
  • The Children’s Hospital, Chris Adrian (2006)
  • The Transmigration of Bodies, Yuri Herrera (translated by Lisa Dillman) (2013)
  • Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (2014)
  • Find Me, Laura Van Den Berg (2015)
  • Severance, Ling Ma (2018)
  • The Book of M, Peng Shepherd (2018)
  • The Old Drift, Namwali Serpell (2019)

The CDC has provided information about staying healthy during the COVID19 pandemic.

How to protest safely while staying healthy during a global pandemic.

Note to writers: Everything old is new again! Inspiration and resources can be found in the unlikeliest places.

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