"Total Solar" by Luke Mogelson Originally published in the February 29, 2016 issue of The New Yorker. Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker webpage.
Luke Mogelson’s debut in The New Yorker, “Peacetime,” got strong praise but from few people on its post here last April. Hopefully some more attention will be brought to this week’s story, which seems to have an environmental flare. Here’s the first paragraph:
I was staring at a brown sky. Just moments earlier, a researcher from the United Nations Ornithological Department had told me that fecal particulate from the city’s open sewage system made up an alarming proportion of the atmosphere in Kabul. The researcher was the sort of person who would say, “If you really want something to write about . . .” or “You’re looking for a story? What if I were to tell you . . . ,” as if, before meeting him, you had lived in darkness, scribbling claptrap of zero consequence to anybody. He’d invited me to lunch because he had some urgent information regarding birds. Something to do with the great migrations above the Hindu Kush, the desertification of Iranian wetlands, mass extinction. “Have you ever seen a Siberian crane?” he asked me. “No, you haven’t. No one in Afghanistan has seen a Siberian crane in the past twenty years.”
I hope it’s a good one, and look forward to your thoughts below!