The past 45 months have been all plot and no climax. Now we have, a mere five weeks away, a presidential referendum that many anxious Americans are counting on to provide catharsis — relief from a bad dream, or at least the affirmation of a waking nightmare. Instead, we may have a Dark November: disbelief, ambiguity, rage, resistance, depression. A contested election piled on to economic and racial turmoil, destruction and trauma from epic wildfires out West, and a possible third wave of the coronavirus — all while colder weather traps us in our homes and shorter days rob us of light and warmth.

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