The waters swept the East Coast from Maine to Florida. Hourly broadcasts informed us that land was breaking off at an alarming rate. In some places the coastline had regressed to the Appalachians, sinking into the sea in chocolate-red chunks. Heads of families invested in nautical compasses, diving gear and water wings in assorted sizes and colors. I took to wearing my bathing cap at all times; other women chopped off their hair entirely, fearful of strangulation. No one was safe. Even the pool players who, days ago, had barely deigned to glance at us in our wet suits, now flung their cue balls and eight balls up in the air in a great black and white geyser and fled in terror from the rushing spume. The few who thought to clamber up the skyscrapers were found huddling in satellite dishes, shivering in their jackets of soggy green felt. “Did you think love would be easy?” I asked Hector who stood behind me, his chin resting on my shoulder. Chess pieces lay strewn around us, covered with…
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Episode 22: “Form and Formlessness”
In an essay specially commissioned for the podcast, Aisha Sabatini Sloan describes rambling around Paris with her father, Lester Sloan, a longtime staff photographer for Newsweek, and a glamorous woman who befriends them. In an excerpt from The Art of Fiction no. 246, Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti discuss how writing her first novel helped Cusk discover her “shape or identity or essence.” Next, Allan Gurganus’s reading of his story “It Had Wings,” about an arthritic woman who finds a fallen angel in her backyard, is interspersed with a version of the story rendered as a one-woman opera by the composer Bruce Saylor. The episode closes with “Dear Someone,” a poem by Deborah Landau.
Rachel Cusk photo courtesy the author.
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