Lawrence Wright

Cindy Seip

Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker, a playwright, a screenwriter, and the author of 10 books of nonfiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, and God Save Texas: A Journey to the Soul of the Lone Star State. The End of October: A Novel, published last year, was a New York Times bestseller. In The Plague Year: America in the Time of COVID (Knopf), Wright offers an unprecedented account of the COVID-19 pandemic – its origins, its wide-ranging repercussions, and the ongoing global fight to contain it. Wright takes us inside the CDC, the White House, a coronavirus ward in a Charlottesville hospital, and the precincts of prediction specialists at Goldman Sachs. It follows the arc from the fateful first moments of the outbreak in China to the storming of the U.S. Capitol to the extraordinary vaccine rollout, telling the story of the pandemic in authoritative detail and with accounts on both global and intimate scales, illuminating COVID-19’s medical, economic, political, and social ramifications. The New York Times called it a “virtuoso feat … A book of panoramic breadth … managing to surprise us about even those episodes we … thought we knew well.”