Drawing as a way of keeping a diary, writing down thoughts in a journal as a way of maintaining a historical record – in watercolours and also in words. These were resources that Amitava Kumar had been using even before the pandemic arrived. But the task gained urgency just when he felt most isolated and afraid. The Blue Book is a writer’s artistic response to our present world: one that has bestowed upon us countless deaths from a virus, a flood of fake news, but also love in the face of loss, travels through diverse landscapes, and – if we care to notice – visions of blazing beauty. From one of the acclaimed and accomplished authors of our time, this writer’s journal is a panoramic portrait of the experience, both individual and collective, of the pandemic.