Why this book?
This novel appeared in 1949 and is eminently readable still—wise and unpredictable—about a plague that decimates the globe before it became fashionable as a topic. Stewart was a professor of English at UC Berkeley. First read it as a teenager, and several times since over the years. It holds up! Stewart was way ahead of his time—and writes a terrific story.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
In this profound ecological fable, a mysterious plague has destroyed the vast majority of the human race. Isherwood Williams, one of the few survivors, returns from a wilderness field trip to discover that civilization has vanished during his absence.
Eventually he returns to San Francisco and encounters a female survivor who becomes his wife. Around them and their children a small community develops, living like their pioneer ancestors, but rebuilding civilization is beyond their resources, and gradually they return to a simpler way of life.
A poignant novel about finding a new normal after the upheaval of a global crisis.