• Rijuta Dighe

5 Books on Quarantine Life

Quarantine has been used as an aid to stop the spread of diseases since ancient times. Leprosy, Cholera, Tuberculosis, Small Pox, etc among others were some of the diseases for which quarantine was practiced.

Apart from being a cure, quarantine has also been used as a form of punishment since early 1800's, when Quakers in Pennsylvania used it, instead of public punishments.

Today, a few months long quarantine, for our own safety, inside our own homes, with our families, having almost everything that we want is driving us crazy already. Reading books is an excellent way to put this extra time to use.

These are 5 of the craziest books on Quarantine Life which will make you feel how luxurious indeed is your current isolation.

1. Hell is a very small place: Voices from Solitary Confinement

by Jean Casella (Editor), James Ridgeway (Editor), Sarah Shourd (Editor)

Genre: Non fiction, Crime & Justice

This is one of the most wide ranging compilation of essays written by prisoners of isolation in America. The stories are gut wrenching, and indeed very well written. All sixteen authors describe their experience in 4.5*9 ft prisons and the mental tortures that come in it. The tales are devastatingly powerful, and would leave you questioning humanity. This book should definitely not be read during meal times!

Link to buy: https://www.amazon.com/Hell is a very small place

2. Room

by Emma Donoghue

Genre: Fiction

For 5-year old Jack, the Room is the world. He was born in the Room, and lives with his Ma, oblivious that the outside world exists. The room is where is eats, sleeps, plays and prays. Through her fierce love, Ma has created the world as sane as possible for Jack in the Room where she is held captive for seven years. The book is narrated through the voice of Jack, which makes it extremely poignant. At the end of the book, you'll be grateful that this is only a work of fiction and not a true story.

Link to buy: https://www.amazon.com/Room

3. The Diary of a young girl

by Anne Frank

Genre: Non Fiction

This is perhaps the most famous tale of hiding during the dreaded holocaust. Diary of Anne Frank was written by 13 year old Anne Frank, for two years, just before her family was discovered. Anne Frank's father was the sole survivor in the family, who found the diary and published it. This isn't a holocaust survival story, describing the atrocities going around, but it is about what went on inside the family in hiding, the teenager's feelings and her relationships with rest of the family members. The book seems to be incomplete, and then you realize what must have happened.

Link to buy: https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Frank

4. Savarkar - Echoes of a forgotten past

by: Vikram Sampath

Genre: Biography, History

Now, this isn't exactly a book about a quarantine life. This is a biography of one of the India's most visionary freedom fighters 'Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.' He was one of the most dreaded freedom fighters among the British, who subjected him to a 'Cellular Jail'. As the name suggests, the cellular jails were 4.5*2.7 meters, established in Port Blair, Andaman, away from main land India, to keep prisoners, who posed a threat to British colonies. They were subjected to insane work, and given an inhuman treatment. This book is 550 pages long, and has over 200 pages of references, showing how meticulously the author has researched, contrary to the mainstream media which is flooded with biased articles, which fail to put forward the entire picture. This book is a must read story of a long standing visionary whose love for motherland knew no bounds.

Link to buy: https://www.amazon.com/Savarkar-Echoes-Forgotten-Past

5. A Place to Stand

by Jimmy Santiago Baca

Genre: Biography, Memoir

"A Place to Stand" is an amazing true story of how a man, with no seeming future - became a celebrated poet, author, teacher and a screen writer. Forced into the most brutal circumstances, even before he could learn to read, Jimmy lived each and every day as a point of no return. A harsh childhood, a criminal youth, facing it all alone, this book shows how Jimmy ultimately triumphed over all brutal adversities. He does not try to white wash his crimes, and confesses his feelings with all honesty, which makes this memoir a must read.

Link to buy: https://www.amazon.com/Place-Stand-Jimmy-Santiago-Baca-

Hope you enjoy reading these books, and come out with a fresh, positive perspective on life!

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

Albert Camus

Thank you!

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