Books

Room author Emma Donoghue to release new novel about a pandemic in July 2020

The Pull of the Stars, set in a war and disease-ravaged Ireland during the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, tells the story of three women — a nurse, a doctor and an activist — working on the front lines of the pandemic.
The Pull of the Stars is a novel by Emma Donoghue. (Punch Photographic, HarperCollins Canada)

Irish-Canadian playwright and novelist Emma Donoghue is releasing her latest book, a novel called The Pull of the Stars, on July 21, 2020.

The Pull of the Stars, set in a war and disease-ravaged Ireland during the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, tells the story of three women — a nurse, a doctor and an activist — working on the front lines of the pandemic in an understaffed maternity ward of a hospital, where expectant mothers infected with the virus are quarantined. 

The timely tale takes place over the course of three days and explores how these women change each other's lives in unexpected ways, while witnessing loss and delivering new life.

Donoghue said the novel was inspired by the centenary of the Spanish flu in October 2018.

"Two days after I delivered my final draft, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in a changed world where the creeping dread and ethical dilemmas of ordinary citizens and the sacrifices of frontline healthcare workers were front and centre again," Donoghue said in a release.

"The Pull of the Stars is a study of everyday heroism in a time of terror."

The Pull of the Stars will be published by HarperCollins Canada.

Donoghue will be doing a virtual events throughout the summer to support the book.

Donoghue is the author of the 2010 novel Room, which was a finalist for the Booker Prize and adapted into an Oscar-nominated film, and The Wonder, which was nominated for the Giller Prize.

Her other books include the novels LandingFrog Music and the children's book The Lotterys Plus One

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