We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

How Contagion Works

How Contagion Works

‘Lucid, calm, informed, directly helpful in trying to think about where we are now… The literature of the time after begins here’ Evening Standard

‘Taking a breather from bewildering statistics and terrible tales of contagion to read Giordano’s book was a jolt of brevity and simplicity… It takes concepts that have been dancing away in our minds, just out of reach, and lines them up neatly’ The Times

‘Potent and original’ Sunday Times

‘In one short hour, in the midst of this difficult moment, Giordano reinforced my sense of hope in humanity, in the one and the many’ Philippe Sands, author of East West Street and The Rat Line

The Covid-19 pandemic is the most significant health emergency of our time.

Writing from Italy in lockdown, physicist and novelist Paolo Giordano explains how disease spreads in our interconnected world:

why it matters
how it impacts us
how we must react

Expanding his focus to include other forms of contagion – from the environmental crisis to fake news and xenophobia – Giordano shows us not just how the coronavirus crisis got so bad so quickly, but also how we can work together to create change.


Paolo Giordano is a physicist and the author of four bestselling novels. His article ‘The Mathematics of Contagion’ – published in Italy at the beginning of the coronavirus emergency – was shared more than 4 million times and helped shift public opinion in the early stages of the epidemic.
Read More

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

On Sale: 16th April 2020

Price: £2.99

ISBN-13: 9781474619288

Reviews

Sublimely elegant, provocatively simple, deeply troubling. In one short hour, in the midst of this difficult moment, Giordano reinforced my sense of hope in humanity, in the one and the many.
Philippe Sands, author of EAST WEST STREET
A timely, vital and inspiring read.
Andrea Wulf, author of THE INVENTION OF NATURE
Part analysis, part journal, perhaps the first from the new world we all share. It is modest, lucid, calm, informed, directly helpful in trying to think about where we are now... The literature of the time after begins here.
Evening Standard
'Potent and original'
Sunday Times
A slim guide to understanding this virus and preparing ourselves for what comes next... Taking a breather from bewildering statistics and terrible tales of contagion to read Giordano's book was a jolt of brevity and simplicity... Giordano's short book takes concepts that have been dancing away in our minds, just out of reach, and lines them up neatly.
The Times
Paolo Giordano's HOW CONTAGION WORKS is a lodestar for all of us seeking to find our way through this pandemic. Giordano, a mathematician, seamlessly combines lyrical prose and epidemiologic concepts in a clear and compassionate way, recalling at times the work of Jorge Luis Borges. HOW CONTAGION WORKS illuminates a clear and calm path forward as we navigate this strange new world.
Dan Werb, author of CITY OF OMENS
The urgency behind Giordano's book is of a different kind, stemming more from the need to preserve the present than to explain it... Much like Sigmund Freud wrote down his dreams when he woke, before they faded, Giordano sought to document, in real time, his experience of the pandemic.
New York Times
The stark and poetic prose of Paolo Giordano's essay How Contagion Works conveys the existential angst of an Italian intellectual as he comes to terms with quarantine: the vulnerabilities, missed opportunities, loneliness, fear of annihilation and the realisation that humanity's supporting structures are 'a house of cards'.
Spectator
Urgent, powerful writing... I could have folded the corner on every page.
John Sutherland, author of CROSSING THE LINE