What if monsters were real? What if, everywhere you looked, you saw darkness and demons? What if you lived your life in constant, oppressive fear? Such is the universe of Patricia Pearson, whose A Brief History of Anxiety (Bloomsbury) has just hit the stands. Pearson was once obsessed with flu Wiki, where, says the New York Times, “Visitors to the site offered suggestions on how to turn back the
infected, zombie-like hordes who, in a desperate search for food, will
try to invade the fortified homes of the healthy.”
Some people see horror in everything and are lucky enough to turn that anxiety into novels and movies. Pearson is trapped somewhere in the middle. She can write, but she is also paralyzed by looming, abiding fears that threaten her life constantly. Pearson fears flying insects, as well as the possibility that her car, or a giant volcano under Yosemite National Park might explode. As she looks through the anxiety in history, she even takes on Saw, asking why, in a world full of anxiety, people flock to movies such as this.
Pearson concludes that it’s because “We want something, a primal sort of testing of our mettle.” Fine, thoughtful stuff, and that’s just the first chapter.