“What novels tell us is not that it’s going to be OK, or that it is all for the best, because it’s not. People will go on drowning as they try to flee Syria, climate change will get worse, and Trump could do massive damage to the world causing an upsurge in the worst kinds of prejudice.
But novels and stories tell us that this has all happened before, in a different time, with different names but similar narratives. They tell us that it’s OK to be scared, to have complicated feelings, to feel a bit lost, and they remind us that we are human.
Even in novels with “what if” scenarios – “What if the Earth froze?” “What if aliens invaded?” “What if we could travel through time?” “What if 99.9% of the Earth’s population were wiped out?” –
there is redemption in the humanity which survives.
Everything is far from OK, but this has happened before
and will happen again.
There are stories in everything, and reading keeps hope alive.”