Developing a Voice through Literature. An Analysis of Pandemic Writing


  • Cristina Guarneri William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey



Literature, Pandemci, Writing, Storytelling


Literature during a pandemic provides meaning to the reader by using storytelling to shape the way that we understand and experience illness, disease, and health. Narratives are an attempt to bring closure to what is meaningless. During the void that is found during a pandemic, literature is able to serve a purpose and make sense of plagues. Pandemic literature exists not only to be analyzed, but also to tell stories. It is used as a reminder that sense still exists somewhere within society. Literature gives readers an escape outside of quarantine through invented stories. It is a reclamation against what illness represents, that the world is not our own. Literature and writing are necessary in the aftermath of a pandemic. It is through literature and writing, which has the ability to teach readers about the effects of the deadly manifestations on humanity, and how they shape what it means to be human.


Booth, Shirley. “News Summaries.” (1954). Winner for Best Actress in Come Back, Little

a. Sheba. See also, e.g., Douglas E. Abrams, The Writer’s Theater, 1 Precedent 26, 26

b. (MoBar Spring 2007).

Bristow, Nancy. “American Pandemic : The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza

a. Epidemic.” (2012). Oxford University Press.

Cummings, Judy Dodge. (2018). “Epidemics and Pandemics : Real Tales of Deadly Diseases.”

a. Nomad Press, (pp 1-3).

Kennedy, Robert F. “Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis 127 (1969),

a. (Published posthumously); see also, e.g., Arthur M. Schlesinger, J r., A Thousand Days:

b. John F. Kennedy in the White House 692-93 (1965); Meredith Hindley, The Dramatist:

c. Barbara Tuchman Saw History as a Grand Tragedy, 33.

King, Stephen. “The Stand.” (1757). New York: Doubleday.

Meyer, Deon. “Fever.” (2018). New York: Grove Press; Reprint edition.

Poe, Edgar Allen. “The Masque of the Red Death.” (2020). independently published

Porter, Katherine Anne. “Pale Horse, Pale Rider.” (2014). New York: Penguin Random House.




How to Cite

Guarneri, C. (2020) “Developing a Voice through Literature. An Analysis of Pandemic Writing”, Journal of English Language and Literature (ISSN: 2368-2132), 14(1), pp. 1244–1247. doi: 10.17722/jell.v14i1.1153.