Kathryn Schulz terrifying tale of a future catastrophic earthquake and tsunami wins top literary gong
The Pulitzer Prize dolled out its prizes to the greatest works of fiction, non-fiction, music, drama and journalism on Monday, with Hamilton’s success in the drama category- and Emily Nussbaum’s win in criticism, grabbing most of the headlines. But it was Kathryn Schulz, who won for her article, ‘The Really Big One’, in The New Yorker that brought the fear back to us like a 14-year old coming down off of Alco-pops.
Every year, Hollywood floods our screens with disaster movies, where the West or East coast of wherever are wiped out by aliens, asteroids, volcanoes, earthquakes and tidal waves.
But if you currently live in the Pacific Northwest- or plan to over the next fifty years, you have a one in three chance of living through those latter two hells, combined, yourself. The worst natural disaster in the charted history of the North American continent is long overdue, with the last shake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone taking place before the country existed in its present format.
It’s been so long seismolagists didn’t even know the fault existed until the 1960s…allowing an entire civilization to be built on the very ground that will rise up and destroy it.
Schulz’s piece vividly created this nightmare scenario of the ground shaking, power grids failing, bridges snapping and houses sliding off unsecured foundations, as the ground beneath them liquefies.