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Evenings with an Author: Laura Spinney, Pale Rider: the Spanish flu of 1918 and how it changed the world
24 October 2018 @ 19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
The 1918 “Spanish” flu pandemic defeated the best medical minds of the time and the best historical ones ever since. Fiendishly difficult to categorise, it was neither mild nor severe, northern nor southern, black nor white, old nor young, male nor female. It slipped between linguistic pigeonholes, failing to leave a lasting trace in humanity’s collective memory. Yet it killed at least 50 million people – more than either world war and possibly more than both put together – and permanently altered humanity. Laura Spinney looks at the history of a disaster we remember for being forgotten.
Laura Spinney is an author and science journalist. She has published two novels, The Doctor and The Quick, an oral history portrait of a European city entitled Rue Centrale and, in 2017, a non-fiction account of the 1918 influenza pandemic called Pale Rider: the Spanish flu of 1918 and how it changed the world. She writes on science for National Geographic, The Economist, Nature and The Guardian among others.