Only time will tell if there’ll be a Great Pandemic Novel

We had been dreading it like (forgive me) the plague: the inevitable onslaught of corona-lit. Fortunately, the first few titles out of the gate have been in capable hands. Zadie Smith reflected on lockdown in Intimations, a slim volume of personal essays; the virus featured in Ali Smith’s Orwell Prize-winning Summer; and Sarah Moss imagines a lockdown hike gone awry in her forthcoming novel The Fell. The twice Booker-nominated novelist and short story writer Sarah Hall also felt compelled to address the calamity, rising in the dark to write before home schooling her daughter during lockdown. ‘I’m not saying I was particularly equipped,’ Hall explained in a press release. ‘But