Issue #110: Flight Path

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.”

3 thoughts on “Issue #110: Flight Path

  1. off topic –

    regarding the Italy trip – do you guys ever think of changing it to a different location ??

  2. There are no plans to move the conference. We are very happy being at Le Sirenuse, in Positano, Italy. One of the most beautiful places on earth!

  3. Although much of its action is implausible and most of the characters are unlikable most of the time, “Flight Path” is better than many other recent ONE STORY offerings since it does at least present a unified story: viz., the reorientation of the narrator’s goals (at least temporarily) from highly self-centered to somewhat less self-centered. (I am judging partly as a person who has had considerable first- and second-hand experience with hospitals as well as with therapy of various sorts–and as a person who has taught literary criticism, literature, and creative writing for 37 years.)

    Why are both of the other two comments off topic?

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