A Look Back at Carve's Disaster-Themed Stories

To help tide you over until the release of Carve’s natural disaster-themed spring issue on March 15, we’ve compiled a selection of similarly-themed offerings from the Carve archives. These following stories give us a glimpse, from a safe vantage point, of literal and symbolic hurricanes, hailstorms, or volcanic eruptions that wreak havoc on the lives of their main characters. Be prepared to be upturned and shaken up by these tales of turmoil:


“Hurricane Emily” by Subhadra Eberly

A single woman, our narrator, is forced to weather the storms of her mentally unstable best friend, Emily, whom she likens to a hurricane, one that doesn’t look like it will blow over anytime soon. Subhadra Eberly’s story from the summer 2012 issue is on the one hand about the inherent selfishness of storms:  They never take into account the damage they leave in their wake. But it is also, rather intriguingly, about those who face storms head-on, despite all signs of danger. “You know I could never leave her, even if I had to,” Emily’s boyfriend at one point says. Will the narrator herself continue to put herself in harm’s way with another storm on the horizon? Find out her fate by reading “Hurricane Emily.”


“Weather Girls” by Marylou Fusco

Teenager Christine is made of hardy stuff, a survivalist in the making. She’s intrigued by natural disasters, in particular because of the resulting “bond that survivors of disasters share, something that brands the skin and extends into forever.” When her classmate Meredith enters the picture, by way of a fortuitous hailstorm, Christine’s attraction to disasters takes on a different dimension. This story from the spring 2009 issue beautifully recounts a girl’s budding awareness of her sexuality, fittingly equating the call of sexual attraction to the arrival of a natural disaster as it upends one’s life (in potentially a good way). Read “Weather Girls.”


“The Last Hours of Pompeii” by Marc Nieson

A touching piece about a man coming to terms with a disaster from his past he was unable to avert—his divorce. Newly “invested in the past” because of the divorce, he uncovers his shortcomings as a husband and father. His regret is amplified by his daughter’s recent precocious interest in disaster documentaries, the latest one about the volcanic eruption that had destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii. As father and daughter watch the unburied corpses preserved by pyroclastic flow, he hangs on to the hope that there is a distinction between “what is extinct and what might still only be dormant.” But he fears his own life may be doomed to the same fate as those of Pompeii. Read “The Last Hours of Pompeii,” the winner of the fall 2008 Carver contest.


You can get three more catastrophe-laced stories later this week when we premiere our spring 2013 issue, featuring the winners of our 2013 disaster-themed Esoteric contest. Order the Premium Edition and you’ll get an additional two — the outstanding honorable mentions.