Z for Zachariah

Z For Zachariah

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Z for Zachariah

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Z for Zachariah is a novel by Robert C. O'Brien which was published posthumously in 1973. He died when writing the last chapter, so his family finished the book for him. It is written from the first person perspective of a sixteen-year-old girl named Ann Burden, who survives a nuclear war in a small American town. The town's location is in a geographically distinct and remote valley that shelters it from the nuclear fallout. The book takes the form of a diary kept by Ann as she recounts the events that followed the war.

Z for Zachariah won an Edgar Award in the juvenile category in 1976. Z for Zachariah was adapted by the BBC as part of its Play for Today series and screened on 28 February 1984. The setting was changed from America to Wales.

Plot summary

Ann Burden has lived alone in a small town in a valley in the eastern United States for over a year following a nuclear war which appears to have rendered all land outside the valley contaminated and uninhabitable because it is all irradiated. Exactly how the valley escaped contamination is unclear, though Ann at one point recounts people saying that the valley "has its own weather." She thinks that she is the only one left in the world. One day, however, she observes a stranger coming into the valley. He is dressed in a plastic Radiation Protection Suit and is carrying a cart covered with the same material, and Anne watches him nervously while hiding out in a cave. Using a Geiger counter, the man determines...
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