Apocalyptic Polly

Polly Basore Wenzl


Much like Defoe’s ‘Journal of the Plague Year,’ her book serves as a time capsule that puts a human face on a dehumanizing epoch in history, letting readers feel the reality of individual experience.”

— Liesl Schillinger, New York-based literary critic and writer

WICHITA, KS, UNITED STATES, November 17, 2021 / — In February 2020, the government warned Americans to prepare for “major life disruption” from a coming global pandemic. Since then, more than 750,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while all of us experienced unprecedented upheaval, enduring changes to the way we live, work, eat, study and commune with others. Despite this universal experience, there has been scant portrayal of pandemic life in media and art – until now.

Apocalyptic Polly: A Pandemic Memoir” – a new release by Polly Basore Wenzl available from Amazon – chronicles the experience of one woman trying to protect her family through the pandemic while also telling the broader story of a nation upended by public health measures designed to prevent COVID’s spread. The story weaves an intimate personal story into a richly detailed recounting of the national experience of growing political division, social unrest, economic crisis, and extreme weather.

The book explores the schisms in families and society that emerged between those who responded to the pandemic with extreme caution and others who thought the COVID-19 overblown and saw public health measures as the greater threat. Wenzl chose the side of extreme caution, a response triggered by a childhood and young adulthood shaped by the Cold War.

This bracingly honest memoir is a valuable contemporary history, enriched with typographically represented excerpts from personal text messages and social media posts that kept her connected to the outside world during her household’s year of self-imposed isolation.

New York-based literary critic Liesl Schillinger said of the book: “In her frank, down-to-earth chronicle of the past two tumultuous years, Polly Basore Wenzl weaves her personal tragedies and triumphs, old and new, through pandemic milestones all of us can recognize— from panicked grocery-washing, lockdown blues and Zooms, to mask wars, hunts for the vaccine, and anxiety over still-raging partisan political battles.

“Much like Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year,” Schillinger wrote, “her book serves as a time capsule that puts a human face on a dehumanizing epoch in history, letting readers feel the reality of individual experience. Another writer, long ago, wrote, ‘The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.’ Today, it is the present that feels foreign; in Apocalyptic Polly, Wenzl brings us back home.”

POLLY BASORE WENZL is a Wichita, Kansas writer. A former journalist raised in the college town of Stillwater, Oklahoma, she lived and worked in New York, Moscow and Washington, D.C. before settling in Kansas more than 20 years ago. She counts four generations of government scientists among her relatives, most notably her father, who was actively involved in developing, then preventing the use of, nuclear weapons during the Cold War. “Apocalyptic Polly” explores how this background shaped her response to Covid-19. She married twice in her lifetime and nearly lost her current husband, then did lose her former husband, within weeks of each other during the pandemic, despite taking extreme precautions to protect her family.

Polly Basore Wenzl
Polly Basore Wenzl, Author
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Source: EIN Presswire