What better way to record a piece of contemporary history then through literature and art!
The Together Book Project has published Together: An anthology from the COVID-19 pandemic, a first of its kind collection of human experiences from the 2020 pandemic, released on the 72nd birthday of the NHS to fundraise for them and other frontline services that are still battling the virus in the UK.
This 444-page book is a collection of true stories, global experiences, and personal realisations from 71 authors who come from 5 continents. The depth and breadth of this collection has been described as “a beautiful archive of our troubled times” by academic and author Dr Avishek Parui. Furthermore, the book itself has been described by Emeritus Professor of Literature Derek Hughes as a:
“Brilliantly conceived – and beautifully illustrated – anthology which is a moving celebration of human fellowship and solidarity in a time of plague and isolation.”
This book, which reached Top 21 in both Amazon UK and Amazon India in its first week, comprises of a collection of poems, prose, letters, and personal reflections that are paired with an equal number of unique art pieces from independent artists expressing their own reflections on the pandemic. This breadth of diversity coupled with the perfect combination of BAME, female, LGBTQ, and internationally diverse authors and artists makes this book not only incredibly inclusive, but also a true representation of the unity humanity has shown during the pandemic.
No wonder the Chairman of the Royal Society, Sir Richard Sykes, wrote in his foreword to the book:
“It is truly a collective representation of the unity humanity has shown during the pandemic”.
The entire book was produced in forty days to make it ready as early as possible to start the fundraising process. Dr Pauldy Otermans and Dev Aditya, the curators of the book, have expressed that purchasing a copy of the book:
“will not only fund our frontline heroes, but will also give to the buyer a piece of human history that is worthy of passing to the next generations.”
Perhaps this is the exact same sentiment shared by renowned authors, poets, and celebrities like Benjamin Zephaniah, Prof Clare Brant, Bappi Lahiri, and Ryan Raghoo who all contributed pieces for this book within a matter of days.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have been a harsh experience for all of us, but it also catalysed several inspirational movements across the globe like this book project.
It perhaps helped humanity rethink their course and made people, especially during the lockdown, more connected to themselves. Perhaps this is what the book refers to as creativity through experience and I for one have personally felt this positive shift and hope that it remains with us for the foreseeable future.
With fantastic reviews coming all the way from members of the House of Lords, to artists, scholars, students, and bureaucrats, this book has not failed to impress.
Given the continuous sales not only in the United Kingdom but in 9 other countries, this project will most certainly raise a significant sum of money for the NHS and other similar services.
You can explore the book yourself on Amazon and perhaps also add to their fundraiser as a buyer. After all, as Polly Roy, the Chair of Virology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said after reading it:
“No one expected this virus but equally no one could have imagined the response. What a book!”.
Article provide by Dev Aditya