A stunning collection of new short stories originally commissioned by The New York Times Magazine as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, from twenty-nine authors including Margaret Atwood, Tommy Orange, Colm Toibin, Kamilia Shamsie, David Mitchell and more, in a project inspired by Boccaccio’s The Decameron.
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The Decameron Project: 29 New Stories from the Pandemic
When reality is surreal, only fiction can make sense of it.
In 1353, Giovanni Boccaccio wrote The Decameron: one hundred nested tales told by a group of young men and women passing the time at a villa outside Florence while waiting out the gruesome Black Death, a plague that killed more than 25 million people. Some of the stories are silly, some are bawdy, some are like fables.
In March of 2020, the editors of The New York Times Magazine created The Decameron Project, an anthology with a simple, time-spanning goal: to gather a collection of stories written as our current pandemic first swept the globe. How might new fiction from some of the finest writers working today help us memorialize and understand the unimaginable? And what could be learned about how this crisis will affect the art of fiction?
These twenty-nine new stories, from authors including Margaret Atwood, Tommy Orange, Edwidge Danticat, and David Mitchell vary widely in texture and tone. Their work will be remembered as a historical tribute to a time and place unlike any other in our lifetimes, and offer perspective and solace to the reader now and in a future where coronavirus is, hopefully, just a memory.
Table of Contents:
Preface by Caitlin Roper
Introduction by Rivka Galchen
Recognition by Victor LaValle
A Blue Sky Like This by Mona Awad
The Walk by Kamila Shamsie
Tales from the LA River by Colm Tóibín
Clinical Notes by Liz Moore
The Team by Tommy Orange
The Rock by Leila Slimani
Impatient Griselda by Margaret Atwood
Under the Magnolia by Yiyun Li
Outside by Etgar Keret
Keepsakes by Andrew O’Hagan
The Girl with the Big Red Suitcase by Rachel Kushner
The Morningside by Téa Obreht
Screen Time” by Alejandro Zambra
How We Used to Play by Dinaw Mengestu
Line 19 Woodstock/Glisan by Karen Russell
If Wishes Was Horses by David Mitchell
Systems by Charles Yu
The Perfect Travel Buddy by Paolo Giordano
An Obliging Robber by Mia Cuoto
Sleep by Uzodinma Iweala
Prudent Girls by Rivers Solomon
That Time at My Brother’s Wedding by Laila Lalami
A Time of Death, The Death of Time by Julián Fuks
The Cellar by Dina Nayeli
Origin Story by Matthew Baker
To the Wall by Esi Edugyan
Barcelona: Open City by John Wray
One Thing by Edwidge Danticat