Issue #148: A Picture With Yuki

The One Story office is busy getting ready for our annual benefit, the Literary Debutante Ball (4/29). This year we’re celebrating 5 One Story authors who have published their first books in the past year. As we proofread our program, unload crates of wine from the UPS truck, book florists and caterers and frame art for our silent auction, I’m reminded how exciting it is to publish a talented new voice at the start of their career. Our current issue, “A Picture With Yuki,”  introduces just such a emerging writer: Miroslav Penkov. Miro was born in Bulgaria and lived there until he was eighteen, when he moved to the United States. His first collection of stories, East of the West, will be published this July by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The first time I read “A Picture With Yuki,” I was drawn in by the careful construction of the story, as well as the unique setting of a remote village in Bulgaria, but ultimately it was the compelling drama of the narrator and his wife when they cross paths with a young gypsy boy that won me over. That turn in the plot and the emotional fallout knocked the wind right out of me, and I found myself wondering about these characters, long after I’d finished reading. Check out our Q&A with Miro to learn more about how he crafted this unforgettable story, and be sure to keep an eye out for East of the West when it hits bookstores this summer.

6 thoughts on “Issue #148: A Picture With Yuki

  1. What your doing with newly published authors is a great idea. It welcomes them into the world of published literature. I hope everything goes well on the 29th. In addition, Penkov’s book sounds really interesting.

  2. The writing was superb. Amazing. Great stuff from such a young author! Like one of the comments here stated, I too will be looking for his book before too long.

  3. This story really got under my skin — I felt so antsy afterward, wondering how this couple would manage their psychological & moral burden thereafter. Wonderful writing. Really appreciated the way the history was just there, an underpinning, but not overwhelming the narrative. Also much appreciated: a Japanese woman character who was individual & human, not a collection of stereotypes or western male fantasies about Asian women. Thank you, Penkov-san!

  4. The story is masterful in what I would call “levels of love”. There is a frank, yet kind understanding of how people in the story deal with each other.The narrator never calls attention to himself: no bells, no whistles, just tells the story. I select books for a college library and of course, bought Penkov’s forthcoming book for the collection. I only wish I could hear some prof discussing it. Someone told me there are more marriages to Bulgarians by Peace Corps volunteers than any place else. Maybe this story helps explain why.

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