By JEFFREY WASSERSTROM
I’m not sure why others read dystopian novels, but I know why I turn to them – and why, thanks to Donald Trump’s candidacy, I’ve recently found myself abandoning ones midway through that had come to me highly recommended. For me, the allure of thought-provoking dystopian novels – from classics such as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) to powerful recent works such as Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (2014) – is twofold. They provide new ways of thinking about contemporary problems, yet offer a degree of escape from them. The difficulty now is that dystopian works of art – films as well as novels – don't give me relief from a singularly distressing news cycle, dominated both by reports of horrific violence and by an American election that has inspired more conjuring of nightmarish scenarios than any past one.