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

Вы читаете отрывок, зарегистрируйтесь, чтобы читать полное издание.

Похожие интересы

Другое от: The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 мин. чтения
Aaron Sorkin’s New Film Is the Right Story for This Moment
Netflix’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a departure for the writer and director, who often indulges in misty-eyed idealism for American institutions.
The Atlantic3 мин. чтения
A New Way of Thinking About Climate Change
I’ve been covering climate change for The Atlantic for five years, or nearly a sixth of the time I’ve been alive. That’s long enough to watch the world change around me. I covered America’s adoption of the Paris Agreement and our plan to depart it; i
The Atlantic5 мин. чтенияAmerican Government
Twitter Goofed It
By blocking the URL of a New York Post story without explanation, the company only stoked conspiracy theories.