Reading the Cues
The Animals in that Country was published in March 2020. It might be tempting to see the timing of publication as serendipitous, or portentous, depending on your perspective. A novel about a ‘zoanthropathic’ super-flu precipitating wholesale social breakdown, published in the panicked first months of a zooanotic global pandemic. But Laura McKay’s novel, despite its timeliness, is not so intimately tied to the current moment – its vision is broader, and far more interesting. In this particular apocalypse, the foundational threat to human social structures is the emergence of unprecedented insight into the non-human world.