The Atlantic

T.C. Boyle’s Fictions of Catastrophe

The ecological stories in The Relive Box are tiny, satirical tragicomedies about individual people.
Source: Stephen B. Morton / AP

“All he could think about was bailing, one bucket after the other, as if the house he’d lived in all his life was a boat out on the open sea.” This is the opening line of “Surtsey,” a new short story by T.C. Boyle that takes place at the end of the world—more specifically, on a remote island off the coast of Alaska, one of those places where the concrete effects of rising sea levels and melting ice caps are felt first. The narrator, A.J., is a teenage boy who struggles to hold on to teenage things. He keeps his basketball trophy and his videogames in the go-bag, knowing he’ll soon have to evacuate, but never knowing for sure if he’ll have the opportunity to return. He and all the rest of the people on the island are prepared: The house is on four-foot stilts; his father has rigged an elaborate system of pulleys to keep everyone’s beds floating a couple of feet off the floor. But the storm is larger, unholier, than they anticipated. It rages relentlessly, surging past the depleted ring of ice that used to protect the island—and surging

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Interessi correlati

Altro da The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min letti
Lamar Jackson and the NFL’s Quarterback Double Standard
As the league looks to the future, the way many analysts talk about black players such as the Baltimore Ravens passer still belongs to an ugly past.
The Atlantic24 min lettiPolitics
The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet
Bill de Blasio was out in front of the Democratic Party’s leftward shift—but then other candidates left him far behind.
The Atlantic3 min letti
Blink-182’s Secret Seriousness
Nine, the new album from Blink-182, a band forever associated with adolescence even though the members’ mean age is now 44, arrives haloed in that great teenage emotion: embarrassment. This summer they kicked off a tour with Lil Wayne, and the hope t