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'I went for such a historical story because I didn't want it to be topical' - Oisín Fagan had no idea his novel about a pandemic would become so poignant

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Oisin Fagan

Oisin Fagan

Oisin Fagan

Did you ever think that your 2019 novel about the Black Death set in Nobber, Co Meath, in 1348 would suddenly become topical?

No, I had no idea that would happen. One of the reasons I went for such a historical story is that I didn't want it to be topical. I wanted to escape the issues of the day. But to some degree, pandemics have always been a feature of human life and history.

Have you noticed parallels between Covid-19 and the Black Death?