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Delve Online: Free 90 minute Discussion on Severance

Fri, Apr 17, 2020 from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm PDT

Free: Registration required

A free 90-minute Delve discussion on Severance by Ling Ma. Hosted by Hannah Kim. The discussion is limited to 16 people and pre-registration is required. Registered participants will receive information on how to sign on to the Zoom meeting.

“ Memories beget memories. Shen fever being a disease of remembering, the fevered are trapped indefinitely in their memories. But what is the difference between the fevered and us? Because I remember too, I remember perfectly. My memories replay, unprompted, on repeat. And our days, like theirs, continue in an infinite loop.”
  – Ling Ma, Severance 


In Severance, the  main character finds herself in New York when she first hears of Shen Fever, a mysterious disease that originated in China and is now spreading all over the world. Sound familiar? Despite being set in the past, this satirical post apocalyptic novel is proving to be eerily prescient, given the current pandemic. In this one time mini delve, we’ll discuss the themes present in this text, its take on capitalism and contemporary culture, and relate them to our present day experiences.


Participants are encouraged to come prepared to discuss these questions:
  1. Why is Shen Fever tied to memory and routine? How does that relate to COVID-19?
  2. What is the significance of the dream she has of her mother and shark fin soup? (pg 140 in most editions)
  3. Is Candace emotional? If so, when? What is her tone most of the time?
  4. How does Candace’s view of capitalism differ from Jonathan’s?
  5. How does this differ from a typical zombie apocalypse story?

If you have questions about this free Delve, contact Susan Moore at susan@literary-arts.org.



Hannah Kim

Hannah Kim is a writer, storyteller, and improv comedian. She is interested in radical intersectional feminism and how it relates to anti-capitalism and reclamation of the divine feminine. She is also passionate about increasing representation and visibility in the media and art spaces.
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