"How the Children Stayed Beautiful in a Time of Many Catastrophes"
by Stephen Marche
"Among all the deaths, and the
drifting and forgetfulness that followed the deaths, I understood every
last degradation and nightmare, every crumb of collapse, except for
the change that came over the children. I suppose the sense of measurement
ending, the world’s clock’s winding down, moment to
moment mattering less and less, gave to those summers the flavour of
confused innocence for everybody. Meaning slipperied for the children,
and for the rest of us."
Read this story in full on our website.
So Happy and So Haunted: John Barton in Conversation with Stephen Marche
JB: “How the Children Stayed Beautiful in a Time of Many Catastrophes” is set in a near future where for many years the world has been traumatized and reshaped by successive waves of plague—to such an extent that, for example, North Korea has without fanfare reunified with the South, removing from the table one of our own time’s greatest perceived threats to world stability. To escape the latest wave of contagion to have reached Toronto, the story’s two single-child families decide—Swiss Family Robinson-like—to escape north to cottage country. What makes an attempt to survive a major threat to society an appealing subject for fiction?
SM: I think the post-apocalyptic scenario is always appealing because it separates characters from their society, and tries to figure out what we are really, without all the accoutrements that we get used to. The situation that I was talking about was a series of smaller catastrophes, rather that something like a nuclear winter. Unbearable disasters that can be managed rather than the end to the world. This seems to me to be closer to the way history actually works.
Read this interview in full on our website.
Brent Schaus joined the Friends of The Malahat at our first-annual writing symposium, WordsThaw 2013 in March. MalaPod producer Stephanie Harrington met with Brent in July to talk about his experiences as a Friend of The Malahat.
Listen to the podcast here.
All Friends of The Malahat as of September 1, 2013 will be entered into a draw for a $25 Russell Books gift certificate!
Live in Victoria? Love The Malahat Review? Become a Friend! You can join either online or by printing off our membership form.
Friendship includes a one-year subscription to The Malahat Review, a discounted pass to our 2nd-annual writing symposium, WordsThaw 2014 in February, a free Malahat author portrait, a free back theme issue of The Malahat Review, and entry into this draw!