Books

Fang Fang's 'Wuhan Diary' offers eyewitness account of life in China during COVID-19 outbreak

Chinese writer Fang Fang speaking with media in Wuhan, China's central Hubei province. File photo.   | Photo Credit: AFP

An eyewitness account of events as they unfolded in Wuhan during the COVID-19 outbreak is now available as ebook in India, publisher Harper Collins announced on Friday.

The book, Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City, is a compilation of online diary entries and social media posts by Chinese literary writer Fang Fang.

Documenting 60 days of lockdown during the COVID-19 epidemic, the book captures the challenges of daily life and the changing moods and emotions of being quarantined without reliable information.

On January 25, after the central government imposed a lockdown in Wuhan, Fang Fang began publishing an online diary.

“In the days and weeks that followed, Fang Fang’s nightly postings gave voice to the fears, frustrations, anger, and hope of millions of her fellow citizens, reflecting on the psychological impact of forced isolation, the role of the internet as both community lifeline and source of misinformation, and most tragically, the lives of neighbours and friends taken by the deadly virus,” the publisher said in a statement.

Translated by Michael Berry, the book documents the author’s voice against social injustice, abuse of power that impeded the response to the epidemic.

“As Fang Fang documents the beginning of the global health crisis in real time, we are able to identify patterns and mistakes that many of the countries dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic have later repeated,” the publisher said.

“She reminds us that, in the face of the new virus, the plight of the citizens of Wuhan is also that of citizens everywhere. As Fang Fang concludes in her introduction: ‘The virus is the common enemy of humankind; that is a lesson for all humanity. The only way we can conquer this virus and free ourselves from its grip is for all members of humankind to work together.’,” the publisher added.

Dedicating the book to the people of Wuhan, Fang Fang said that the all the proceeds of the book “will be used to aid those people who put their lives on the line for this city“.

The book will be translated into 15 languages.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 1:22:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/book-offers-eyewitness-account-of-life-in-wuhan-during-covid-19-outbreak/article31605579.ece

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