Boston Review has a longstanding commitment to showing that the arts provide indispensable insight into the most pressing issues of our time. Our readers rely on valuable resources such as the New York Times and the Washington Post for up-to-the-minute news. But they turn to us for deeper reflection. And while we will continue to bring readers urgent essays about the COVID-19 pandemic, with this new project, Arts in the Time of Quarantine, we will also be offering readers a dozen or so new short stories in the coming month. Some will be on the theme of disease, social isolation, and sorrow; others will offer a momentary escape through imagination. In this, we took inspiration from Boccaccio’s Decameron, in which a group of friends, hiding from the plague, tell each other stories—to entertain, to distract, to instruct, and to bind themselves closer together.

In the coming days, we’ll be putting several stories online very quickly, but in coming weeks, expect updates on Thursdays and Fridays.

Also, Arts in the Time of Quarantine won’t be all fiction: as well, we’ll be bringing you new poetry and essays, again with the blended intention of informing and entertaining.

Our first story, about cannibal lesbians surviving a pandemic at the end of the world, is from celebrated science fiction writer Maureen F. McHugh. In coming days, we’ll have stories about robots gone wild, exes stuck together in their tiny apartment, Lovecraftian monsters, and a lost adventure of Casanova.

Good health.