This weeks Fallout 5 are chosen by Lori Ostlund. A teacher for 20 years in America and abroad, her book After the Parade (Amazon UK/ Amazon US) was recently released and a collection of stories was released in 2009.

Lori Ostlund’s Fallout 5:

1. Bleak House by Charles Dickens: Dickens is my go-to author when I travel, which is not to say that living in a bunker is like travelling. It probably feels like the opposite of travelling, except for waiting and feeling out of control. I’ve read every Dickens novel (except Hard Times) at least 3 times. I picked Bleak House because once in college, I sat in my dormitory room and read it without stopping over a 24-hour period, and that is sort of like being in a bunker. (Amazon UKAmazon US)

bleak house

2.  Cathedral by Raymond Carver: I would probably find any Carver collection appropriate for life in a bunker, but Cathedral contains some of my favorite Carver stories, including the title story, “A Small, Good Thing,” and “Careful,” a fraught story about a man whose wife kicks him out of the house because he drinks too much. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)


3. One of Ours by Willa Cather: I read through all of Cather in one go over a summer, and this was my favourite, though you could probably give me any Cather novel (except Death Comes for the Archbishop), and I would be happy to reread it. The main character in my novel is also a man, so perhaps something resonated for me as I read this novel about a young man from Nebraska going off to war, right around the time that I was beginning to think through my book 15 years ago. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)

one of ours

4. Clara Mondschein’s  Melancholia by Anne Raeff: This book came out in 2002 and did not make a huge splash, though it should have. It spans the period from the 1940s to the present and is told from the alternating points-of-view of the mother and daughter of Clara Mondchein, a woman who was born in a concentration camp. I’ve read it ten or more times, so I know that I could read it ten more. It was written by my partner/wife of twenty-four years. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)


5. Collected Work of T.S. Eliot: I would not go into a bunker without poetry. Unlike some poets who made most sense to me in my 20s, Eliot made sense to me then and makes sense to me now as I begin my 50s. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)

t s elliot


You Suddenly have to run from the bunker, you can only save one book, which do you rescue?

When I flee the bunker, I would take the Eliot. Poetry is necessary inside a bunker and out.

For more from Lori Ostlund why not visit her Twitter or her website.

To Take part yourself or to find out more about the idea of Post-apocalyptic Reads why not read the Basic Rules.


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