One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses

Stories | McSweeney’s 2016 | ISBN 978-1-94045-002-5

Lucy Corin’s dazzling collection is powered by one hundred apocalypses: a series of short stories, many only a few lines, that illuminate moments of vexation and crisis, revelations and revolutions. An apocalypse might come in the form of the end of a relationship or the end of the world, but what it exposes is the tricky landscape of our longing for a clean slate.

Three longer stories are equally visionary: in “Eyes of Dogs,” a soldier returns from war and encounters a witch who may in fact be his mother; “Madmen” describes an America where children who reach adolescence choose the madman who will accompany them into adulthood; in “Godzilla versus the Smog Monster,” a teenager is flustered by his older, wilder neighbor while California burns on the other side of the continent.

At once mournful and explosively energetic, One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses makes manifest the troubled conscience of an uneasy time.

Unforgettable voices resist description. Lucy Corin sounds like no one; prickly, shrewd, faintly paranoid or furtive, witty and also savage, she has something of Paley’s gift for soliloquy combined with Dickenson’s passionate need to hold the world at bay, that sense of a voice emanating from a Skinner box. Her achievement is already dazzling, her promise immense.
Louise Glück

Citation of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rome Prize

Prepare for a hackling, for all of your hairs to raise themselves in one grand, creepy salute.
Diagram

Lucy Corin has a gift for illuminating the dark and the unsettling through flashes of often absurdist humor, even of beauty.
ZYZZYVA

Magical, intellectual, and utterly convincing
Tin House

Corin creates a series of dreamscapes in which the apocalypse becomes a set piece for melancholy, humorous, beautiful, and lonely ruminations.
KQED Arts

There is no writer quite like Lucy Corin. Her control over language — her unique phrasing feels like an incantation — leads the reader willingly toward their own reckoning. What makes Corin such an amazing writer, one of my favorites, is that once she brings you to the end you don’t want to leave, because, as she says in one of her apocalypses, “finally it was all so beautiful.”
Kevin Wilson

Author of The Family Fang

These mordant, pitch-perfect apopularcalypses mock our manic inflation of the ordinary, how emotional minutiae run rampant in the hyperthyroid imagination of of post-modern, post-religious, post-literate Apocalyptamerica.
The Review of Contemporary Fiction

More

apocalypses now and again

McSweeney’s thought of me for the pandemic and is doing another printing of One Hundred Apocalypses. That is some kind of sweet.

Relatedly, one of my favorite living writers, Deb Olin Unferth, recommended it among five favorites from the press.

Kelley Ogden

Actress Kelley Ogden doing a really beautiful reading from Apocalypses at our local Stories on Stage. This is an actress who really understands the dynamics of writing for performance and writing for the page. I was delighted.

Flaunt

There are four apocalypses in this fashion magazine called Flaunt. They’re in the print edition of the Fabrication issue. Ander Monson also in this issue.

Even Karp

Evan Karp reads some apocalypses . I love the innocence in his voice. And the sneeze.

Make-Out Room

Me reading a selection of apocalypses at the Make-Out Room to benefit VIDA, March 29, 2011 San Francisco. Includes “Cycle of Life,” “Barbarians at the Gate” and others.

Pen America

“Night and Day,” “Threat,” “Phone,” “Star Chart,” “July Fourth,” “Apocalypse,” and “Mirror” @ Pen America

Devil’s Lake

“Nostalgia,” “Eye Chart,” “Nice Day,” “Look Inside,” “Parable in Transatlantic,” and “Journalist” @ Devil’s Lake

Swink

“Vacation,” “Islands,” “Implosion,” “A More Practical Approach,” and “Fertile Crescent” @ Swink

Caliban

“Metaphor,” “Recall,” “Three Sisters,” “The Cycle of Life,” “Dream Girl,” “Time Machine,” Graph,” “Jaguar,” and “What it Was Like Was” @ Caliban (leaf through or ask it to go to page 20)