Title: Lockdown – The corona chronicles
Author: Melinda Ferguson
Publisher: Melinda Ferguson Books
The first Corona book to be released in South Africa, Lockdown, captures the mood of our times through a tapestry of South African voices, delivering unique and insightful stories from the warfront.
Penned by 17 of maverick publisher Melinda Ferguson’s finest authors, Lockdown captures an unprecedented time of panic, pandemic and pandemonium. Written in a time when none of us knows what the hell is happening – a time of great opportunity for a bunch of writers to try and make sense of it all.
Billed as the fastest book written by 17 authors in history.
On 24 March,2020, three days before South Africa hurtled into Lockdown, as a joke, one of publisher, Melinda Ferguson’s authors, Pumla Dineo Gqola casually mentioned on their authors’ WhatsApp group that “one day we should all write a Coronavirus book”. Pumla says she was joking. Melinda took her seriously.
Within minutes the maverick publisher sent a voice note, giving 17 writers a 10-day deadline. Within days this had shifted to 7 days, then 6 ... then 5. “Everyone agreed. Not sure how that happened,” says Ferguson. “This time is so intense and crazy that none of us really had a choice. I would like to believe that Lockdown, The Corona Chronicles is the ‘fastest book in history’, written in just 7 days by 17 authors.”
While the world outside is literally locked down, fingers flew across keyboards, words sprung to life and while a stable of neurotic authors resisted, wailed, threw tantrums and finally complied, by Monday, March 30, the book was in for editing, then onto layout.
It’s about survival. It’s about stockpiling, it’s about finding the crack of the light in the dark. Hilarious, soul wrenching, it’s one an exhilarating read. In short, it’s Corona-intense.
Pumla Gqola, Eva Mazza, Lindiwe Hani, Ben Trovato, Prof Ismail Lagardien, Sara-Jayne Makwala King, Helena Kriel, Tracy Going, Kelly Eve-Koopman, Steven Boykey Sidley, Sam Cowen, Gabi Lowe, Letshego Zulu, Christy Chilimigras, Dave Muller, Robert Hamblin