After the Sun

Riverhead. Aug. 2021. 208p. ISBN 9780593329108. $26. F
In this collection of five stories, Danish writer Eika explores the interaction between landscape and narrator. The first story “Alvin,” previously published in The New Yorker, follows an IT consultant who returns to Copenhagen to find a pile of rubble covering the bank where he works. Coping with the infidelity of his wife and the breakup of his marriage, he meets Alvin, a trader, who takes him on a wild ride of derivatives speculation. The second and fifth tales focus on a beach boy in Cancún and his relationships with other boys as well as his customers. In the third entry, a retiree grieving for his dead children confronts the uncomprehending universe through ritualized mutilation with alien shrapnel in the desert. In the fourth story, a homeless young woman in London creates a family unit by temporarily moving in with an expectant couple who deal drugs.
VERDICT Set in a dystopian universe, the stories describe each character’s attempt to find meaning and intimacy as an antidote to loneliness and alienation. Eika’s ability to combine foreboding with magic realism generates excitement in this English-language debut.
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