Tuesday, June 06, 2017

What is Greg Garrett reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Greg Garrett, author of Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse.

His entry begins:
I’ve been reading a lot of works about race and prejudice for my next nonfiction book for Oxford University Press, and a lot of that has been compelling (James Baldwin rocks!), but the last thing I read purely for pleasure was Stephen King’s It, which I just finished. It kept me awake. As some of you may know, It is about a group of kids (later, their adult selves) who stand in the gap against a monster that long ago took over their Maine town and that kills people—especially kids and the helpless—every twenty-some years before hibernating. Or something.

I was prompted to return to the book by the super creepy trailer for the new film adaptation coming out soon, and I had originally read it decades ago when it was first published. I went through a stretch in my late teens and early twenties where I read a ton of Stephen King, thinking I might just be a horror writer, and I was pleasantly surprised to see...[read on]
About Living with the Living Dead, from the publisher:
When humankind faces what it perceives as a threat to its very existence, a macabre thing happens in art, literature, and culture: corpses begin to stand up and walk around. The dead walked in the fourteenth century, when the Black Death and other catastrophes roiled Europe. They walked in images from World War I, when a generation died horribly in the trenches. They walked in art inspired by the Holocaust and by the atomic attacks on Japan. Now, in the early twenty-first century, the dead walk in stories of the zombie apocalypse, some of the most ubiquitous narratives of post-9/11 Western culture. Zombies appear in popular movies and television shows, comics and graphic novels, fiction, games, art, and in material culture including pinball machines, zombie runs, and lottery tickets.

The zombie apocalypse, Greg Garrett shows us, has become an archetypal narrative for the contemporary world, in part because zombies can stand in for any of a variety of global threats, from terrorism to Ebola, from economic uncertainty to ecological destruction. But this zombie narrative also brings us emotional and spiritual comfort. These apocalyptic stories, in which the world has been turned upside down and protagonists face the prospect of an imminent and grisly death, can also offer us wisdom about living in a community, present us with real-world ethical solutions, and invite us into conversation about the value and costs of survival. We may indeed be living with the living dead these days, but through the stories we consume and the games we play, we are paradoxically learning what it means to be fully alive.
Learn more about Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Entertaining Judgment.

Writers Read: Greg Garrett.

--Marshal Zeringue