Every once in a while, all of our readers come in and read together at our Brooklyn office. We order food and everyone is propped around the room with their computers. There is a lot of silence. Then, all at once, someone will say: “Wow, listen to this!” And they will read out loud a sentence or two of a story from their screen. The story is quickly passed around, and there is a real excitement that spreads, from person to person–as if we’ve struck gold. That’s exactly what happened with John Jodzio’s “Flight Path.” Our intern Chris (who you might remember from this summer’s “Notes from the Trenches” blog posts) pulled this story from the slush pile, and as the pages went from desk to desk, we all knew that we’d found something special. To start, the voice is fantastic. Liz is by turns sharp and sorrowful and funny. As a reader, I felt her energy coming across with every line. The situation is also unique: a womens’ psych ward, invaded by one man, in a coma. I loved the camaraderie of the nurses and patients–they have all had trouble with men–and Mike Phipps’s arrival seems to serve them in different ways. Here, finally, is man who can do them no harm. But what was most surprising, and moving, is that Liz goes from using Mike for her own emotional and sexual needs to forming a friendship with her rival, Mike’s pregnant girlfriend, Lily. The final moment between them is one of those particular moments of magic that great fiction is made of. Go here to read John’s Q&A with us, and find out more behind the scenes of “Flight Path.”
One Story author Andrew Porter’s first book, The Theory of Light and Matter is being released this week! This fantastic collection, which includes the story he published with us, “Azul”, won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Marilynne Robinson (author of Gilead and Home) says: “Porter’s fiction is thoughtful, lucid, and highly controlled. It is especially striking for the strong consistency of vision that is achieved in every story. He has the kind of voice one can accept as universal–honest and grave, with transparency as its adornment.” This is a book any lover of the short story should read.
Two One Story authors have new collections out this week: Allison Amend with Things That Pass for Love and Kelly Link with Pretty Monsters. Both books have been receiving great advance reviews. Be the first to pick up copies today!
N.M. Kelby’sreading was cancelled tonight, due to unforeseen circumstances. We hope to have her back to New York very soon, for another event.