[shot from the “Walking Out” movie]
This story is included in this story in the anthology American Short Story Masterpieces, edited by Raymond Carver and Tom Jenks.
Quammen said that the story is laced with inspiration that’s entrenched in Roman mythology, specifically the life of Aeneas, the founder of Rome, and ancestor to its peoples, who while fleeing Troy, carried his father, Anchises, on his own shoulders.
“There are a number of places in the story that were influenced by friends and their relationships with their fathers,” said Quammen. “There are also bits from a lot of different places, including the myth of Aeneas, who carried his father out of the burning ruins of Troy on his back. It’s an ancient, archetypal act of keeping faith with your ancestors, and that’s what the story, Walking Out, is about.”
You can also watch a movie based on the story under the same title. It received quite good reviews.