Enjoy some moments of ‘literary respite’ with Google Assistant

Visual Editions and Google Creative Lab have launched Stories of Splendid Isolation – a series sharing moments of reflection by authors including Will Self, Shaheen Bhatt and Jenny Zhang

If, like many, you’re finding it hard to concentrate at the moment, Google Assistant might have the answer. Its Stories of Splendid Isolation series is sharing short clips from various writers, reflecting on the Covid-19 crisis.

There’s a choice of three different authors to listen to each day, with each clip around two minutes long. Writers’ thoughts range from their personal experience of the pandemic, to what life might be like post-lockdown – which, according to Nikesh Shukla, is going to involve a lot of prolonged hugs.

There’s something strangely comforting about the format, which almost feels like being on the phone with each of the authors (aside from Will Self, who’s chosen to read an extract from one of his stories). And if immersing yourself in yet another podcast series feels like too much, this is a possible good alternative for staving off moments of lockdown despair.

To listen to the clips, tell Google Assistant “Talk to Stories of Splendid Isolation”