After the Plague

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After the Plague
T. Coraghessan Boyle - After the plague stories.jpeg
Author T. C. Boyle
Language English
Genre Short stories
Publisher Viking Adult
Publication date
September 10, 2001
Media type Print, e-book, audiobook
Pages 256 pages
ISBN 978-0-670-03005-7

After the Plague is a 2001 collection of short stories by T. C. Boyle.[1] The book was released on September 10, 2001 through Viking Adult and contains sixteen stories, some of which were previously published in The New Yorker, O. Henry Prize Stories, and The Best American Short Stories.


The collected stories range in subject matter, from the apocalyptic titular story "After the Plague" to "Peep Hall", which centers on a man discovering a website that streams live footage of a local house full of women. Other stories feature themes such as bullying and first love.

Stories in volume[edit]

  • "Termination Dust"
  • "She Wasn't Soft"
  • "Killing Babies"
  • "Captured by the Indians"
  • "Achates McNeil"
  • "Mexico"
  • "The Love of My Life"
  • "Rust"
  • "Peep Hall"
  • "Going Down"
  • "Friendly Skies"
  • "The Black and White Sisters"
  • "Death of the Cool"
  • "My Widow"
  • "The Underground Gardens"
  • "After the Plague"


Critical reception for the collection was mostly positive.[2][3][4][5] Sven Birkerts, reviewing for The New York Times, gave a mostly positive review to After the Plague, stating that he enjoyed the collection but that at times the characters overwhelm the stories and "subvert the deeper claims of the work".[6] The Guardian praised the collection, noting that "Boyle writes so beautifully that it always feels natural, never forced."[7] The Lexington Herald-Leader gave a more mixed review, opining that although the stories are "artfully woven" they are also "plagued by illogic".[8]


  1. ^ "'AFTER THE PLAGUE': LITTLE STORIES, BIG IMPACT". The State. October 28, 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Levi, Jonathan (30 September 2001). "Fifty Going Down". LA Times. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Review: After the Plague". NPR. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Boyle brings more depth, texture". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Sep 12, 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Jamieson, Teddy (Oct 27, 2001). "Hardest part is to say goodbye". The Herald - Glasgow. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Birkerts, Sven (2 September 2001). "'After the Plague': Comedy Edging Toward Angst". New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  7. ^ King, Daren (30 November 2001). "Wilderness tips". London: Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "PLAGUED BY ILLOGIC, BOYLE'S STORIES ARE NEVERTHELESS ARTFULLY WOVEN". Lexington Herald-Leader. October 21, 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2013.