A Short Story About A Hurricane

Sep 13, 2018
Originally published on September 13, 2018 10:05 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As we wait for Hurricane Florence to make landfall in the Carolinas, let's hear the way a noted writer imagines a hurricane. The latest book of short stories by Lauren Groff includes a tale called "Eye Wall." A woman decides to ride out a hurricane alone in her house and spends the time imagining men she's known. At last, the wind and water make it inside. Here she is from her audio book.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIOBOOK, "FLORIDA")

LAUREN GROFF: (Reading) The house heaved around me and the wind followed, overturning clocks and chairs, paging through the sheet music on the piano before snatching it up and carrying it away. It riffled through my books one by one as if searching for marginalia, then toppled the bookshelves. The water pushed upward from under the house, through the floor cracks, through the vents, turning my rugs into marshes. Rats scampered up the stairs to my bedroom.

INSKEEP: As the house comes apart, the narrator retreats to a windowless bathroom and emerges after the storm to find the room blazing with light.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIOBOOK, "FLORIDA")

GROFF: (Reading) The storm had stripped the sheets like a good guest. And they'd all blown away, save one, which hung pale and perfect over the mirror, saving myself from the sight of me.

INSKEEP: Lauren Groff from the audio version of her story collection, "Florida."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELA NEMETH'S "HARBOUR") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.