A Storyby Jennifer Egan
When they finally reach the dunes, Jann, the photographer, opens a silver umbrella. This is the last shot of the day. The light is rich and slanted. Around them the sand lies in sparkling heaps, like piles of glass silt.
A girl toes the sand. She wears a short cotton skirt, a loose T-shirt. A few feet away from her, the stylist pokes through a suitcase filled with designer bathing suits. The stylist’s name is Bernadette. She’s been doing this for years.
“Here,” she says, handing the girl a bikini. It is made of shiny red material. The girl glances at Jann, who is busy loading his camera. She slips her underpants from beneath the skirt and pulls on the bathing-suit bottom. She is not close to twenty yet.