Ten stories that capture the essence of our time, told from the perspective of young people, Locked Down is about the constraints imposed on our lives and how we learn to cope, love, pivot, study, struggle, and endure.


In this collection, Zia Zaman has crafted modern, empathetic short stories about the pandemic and how the lockdown is affecting people's lives. Each story is unique and unrelated with a wide variety of voices from teenagers and young adults who chronicle their experiences throughout 2020. Some stories are set in Singapore, two in London; others are dystopian, timeless, and placeless. The stories are not about CoViD per se, but about the constraints that the lockdown introduced. Zia's previous work is broad-ranging, spanning probability, small towns in Asia, parenting special needs children, innovation culture, and hockey.


  1. Locked Down is a story of a handicapped boy who hasn't left his house.
  2. Love in the Time of Corona is a classic love story of two high school seniors separated.
  3. Dormitory is a story about migrant workers and how they are invisible in society until they aren't .
  4. By Design is about a young designer who enters a surreal art competition.
  5. An Understatement is about a poet struggling to find their voice during the pandemic.
  6. Drumroll is a dialogue between two friends, one who is hospitalized.
  7. Mid-canopy in Midtown is about dealing with grief and new hope.
  8. Circuit Breaker is a musing about a different type of lockdown.
  9. 29,727 Reasons to Pay Attention looks for clues for CoViD in outer space.
  10. No Exit is a quintessential story about quarantine and loneliness.