Excerpts rarely work as stand alone pieces, but our new issue, “The Soul Keeps the Body Up,” feels complete all on its own. A part of Amity Gaige’s novel, Schroder (just-released by Grand Central), this heartfelt father-daughter story will keep you on the edge of your seat. It was brought to us by contributing editor Will Allison, and so I will now place the introduction reins into his very capable hands. -HT
Is it possible to kidnap one’s own daughter and still be a good parent? The story in our current issue, Amity Gaige’s “The Soul Keeps the Body Up,” suggests the answer might not be as clear-cut as you’d think. The first time I read the story, I was struck by the sweetness and lightness of the rapport between the narrator, Eric, and his six-year-old daughter, Meadow. Their love for one another—their ability to click—shines through on every page, even as Eric gives in to his most reckless instincts, leading his father-in-law on a high-speed car chase with Meadow in the backseat. As Amity observes in our Q&A with the author, Eric treats Meadow more like a peer than a kid. Sometimes the results are touching, other times darkly comic. The good news is, if you love this story as much as we do, there’s more. “The Soul Keeps the Body Up” is an excerpt from Amity’s third novel, Schroder, which is due out in February, and which is receiving raves from the likes of Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Franzen (“The measure of Gaige’s great gift as a storyteller is that she persuades you to love a narrator who shouldn’t be lovable”), Adam Haslett (“You will not want to put this book down”), and David Bezmozgis (“Amity Gaige has written a flawless book”). Here at One Story, we rarely come across an excerpt we feel can stand on its own—and stand out—as a short story, but we hope you’ll agree this one is a gem.