Hachette Australia is pleased to announce that Mitch Albom, the New York Times bestselling author of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, is writing a free, serialised work titled Human Touch to raise awareness for coronavirus relief in his native city, Detroit.
Human Touch is a fictional yet ripped-from-the-headlines story, written in real-time, about how lives intersect in the time of coronavirus. Set in a small town in Michigan, the story follows the citizens of one street corner and their four homes, north, south, east and west. The characters include a doctor and his family, a pastor and his family, an old man and his wife who run the local cider mill, and a young Chinese couple with a Haitian housekeeper, whose eight-year-old son, Little Moses, becomes a focal point.
As the virus takes root in America, we see how this once neighbourly street corner begins to fray. A tradition of Saturday gatherings unravels into mistrust and distance. Self-protection dominates over kindness. Only Little Moses seems immune to what is happening around him. He continues to spread his own brand of joy and comfort. As people in the neighbourhood are isolated with the virus, he secretly visits them and offers hugs and physical contact. Human touch. When his mother reveals a long-held secret about him – that he has never been sick, that his blood somehow protects him against everything – Little Moses becomes a medical curiosity, then a target, as certain forces think there is money to be made in his capture. When he disappears, the street corner must pull together, despite their self-enforced distancing, to return him to safety.
Mitch Albom is an internationally bestselling author, screenwriter, playwright, and award-winning journalist. He is the author of six consecutive number one New York Times bestsellers and has sold over thirty-five million copies of his books in forty-five languages worldwide, including Tuesdays with Morrie, which is the bestselling memoir of all time. Albom also works as a columnist and broadcaster and has founded eight charities in Detroit and Haiti, where he operates an orphanage. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.