Often times, events that affect an entire population are not easily forgotten. But, the Spanish Flu of 1918 is one that has not received as much attention as other events of similar merit. Susan Meissner, the author of As Bright As Heaven, explains that 100 years ago, the Spanish Flu travelled around the world killing around 50 million people. Despite its death toll, it is one of the few diseases that most people know very little about.
How did a disease with such a massive death toll garner so little attention? Meissner believes that the lack of media attention at the time is part of the reason why it was forgotten. However, she also explains that the disease began spreading during World War I and many dealt with the enormous death toll of both of these events by seemingly disregarding the pain entirely.
In her novel, Meissner gives details about the flu by contextualizing it in the midst of a modern day story. She says her main goal was to acknowledge the emotions embedded within the Spanish Flu of 1918.
Check out her novel and listen to her explain the Spanish Flu in depth on this week’s show.
- Susan Meissner, author of the historical novel As Bright as Heaven.