Fiction. SUGAR MOUNTAIN is a cautionary tale about an all-too-possible catastrophe: a deadly flu epidemic that starts in China and spreads throughout the world, slowly at first, then unbelievably fast. And there is no cure. People who prepare for such possibilities are variously referred to as “homesteaders,” “preppers,” or “survivalists.” This is a story of one such extended family, the Arkwrights, and how, at their farm in western Massachusetts, they gather and stand together in the face of a relentless mass killer. As well as the ravaging influenza, they must contend with provisioning themselves and fending off a local well-armed and ruthless para-military group all the while hanging on to enough humanity to make their survival meaningful. SUGAR MOUNTAIN explores how such a calamity affects individual family members, their neighbors—many of whom are not prepared—and society as a whole. This is a story of a fight to survive in the midst of pressures and threats and against long odds. As one member of the family records in her journal, “The world is coming to an end… The world is starting all over again.”
Alfred Alcorn is the author of nine novels, including The Pull of the Earth, Natural Selection, and Murder in the Museum of Man. The former director of travel at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, he continues to guide groups in East Africa, India, and elsewhere. He lives in Colrain, Massachusetts, with his wife Sally Remick Alcorn.