Monday, November 21, 2022

Seven titles about the pharmaco-industrial complex

Anne K. Yoder's fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in Fence, BOMB, Tin House, NY Tyrant, and MAKE, among other publications. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks and is a staff writer for The Millions. She writes, lives, and occasionally dispenses pharmaceuticals in Chicago.

Yoder's new novel is The Enhancers.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven "books I’ve encountered, read, and collected that speak to pharmaceuticals and the pharmaco-industrial complex in myriad ways," including:
Oval by Elvia Wilk

The 21st-century dystopia borne of Utopian possibility in Elvia Wilk’s Oval paints a corporate-owned Berlin that sprouts its own scientific wonders of biodynamic housing and party drugs tailored to make users high on generosity. Oval at its core is about how humanitarian, ecologically friendly projects can be co-opted by corporate greed, and it provides incisive social critique, not just of corporate power but of class and hierarchy and the art world.

Idealists Anja and Louis live in a corporate-run housing experiment, an eco-housing collective built upon a fake mountain constructed over Berlin’s Tempelhof Field. Anja, a biologist in training, has been doing research in the Cartilage department of RANDI, working toward creating housing that one can grow from a petri dish, which could help solve Berlin’s housing crisis. Her partner Louis is a brand consultant and has been working secretly to create and market Oval, a drug that creates generosity in its users, and which Louis believes will solve inequality. No surprise that this ill-thought, corporate-backed experiment goes awry and ultimately wreaks havoc.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue