Issue # 93: Meeting Elise

As the editor of One Story, I read hundreds of manuscripts each week, swimming through piles of paper, looking for a story that will fit in these pages. When I find a piece that works, it’s a bit like falling in love. A real gut feeling, letting me know that it’s right. Almost always this is due to the strength of the language, and in “Meeting Elise”, Nam Le’s is impeccable. It isn’t easy to write from the point of view of a character like Henry Luff–a letch, an artist, a drunk, an absent and anguished father, and most important of all, a dying man. But even his name, “Luff”, is perfect–being the action that a sail takes when a boat tacks, moving closer to the wind. There is something in that moment where the canvas flaps back and forth, a brief bit of uncertainty and chaos, that resonates throughout this story. And so when Henry sees Olivia at the end, the reader can feel the turmoil pass, the sail filling again with air, and Henry charting a new course. Nam gives some great insights in his Q&A. I suggest you follow the link and find out more about this promising new writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *