Issue #190: Owl by Emily Ruskovich

190-coverWhen it comes to jealousy, Shakespeare probably said it best: “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey’d monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” Just like poor tragic Othello, nothing settles into our souls or breaks us apart more completely than doubt, an emotion that takes center stage in the lyrical and gripping new issue of One Story, “Owl.” Set near Bonners Ferry at the turn of the last century, Emily Ruskovich’s “Owl” is a mystery wrapped in a love triangle wrapped in an historical thriller. A husband cares for his wife, shot in a hunting accident by a group of local boys. But lingering in the air is a puzzle he cannot solve—what was she doing in the woods that night? No matter how he tries, he can’t shake his feelings of suspicion, until they lead to a hunt of his own, and a confrontation that reveals a long-held secret. Be sure to read Emily Ruskovich’s Q&A with us, which explores the connection between her story and Peter Pan—as well as how she developed the distinctive voice for this unforgettable narrator. And next time the green-eyed monster starts to haunt you, remember: Iago may have whispered those famous words to Othello, but it was Othello who clung to them and let them eat away at his heart.

7 thoughts on “Issue #190: Owl by Emily Ruskovich

  1. What a gorgeous, gorgeous story! Thank you, Emily Ruskovich, for the hours of pleasure (I’ve already read the story three times!) you’ve given me.

  2. I really loved the first paragraph. That poor man still paying for his sin of twelve years past. I love that.

  3. I really, really liked this story and I’m looking forward to reading more work by Emily Ruskovich.

  4. I loved this story for the mystery of its ending. I didn’t understand the ending the first time I read it but I think the mystery and psychological weirdness that’s going on right there is exactly what makes the story successful and interesting. You *need to reread the story over again to understand what’s happened and I guess, the important part, is that we *want to go back and understand what happened because something very scary is happening there.

    The story is very “large”, in that it’s about how a man loses his wife. Who wouldn’t be compelled by that?! The husband and wife relationship is one of the more interesting/complicated relationships we have in our life, and I think for that reason, I found it to be one of the more captivating pieces in One Story in a while.

  5. A fascinating use of an I-narrator, who conceals as he reveals, keeping his distance through syntax and word choice. My favorite paragraph, the one most revealing to me about the narrator’s understanding of his wife and their marriage, is on p. 17, beginning “Though sometimes, when I think back on it, . . . ” The connection between his inability to reach her even while making love and their inability to conceive a child is heart-stopping.

  6. OMG! I just read this story in the O. Henry Awards 2015….the top of my head was blown off! I will be looking for any and everything by Emily Ruskovich that I can find. Wonderful, wonderful story!

  7. Pingback: 28 books to read in 2017 – The Week Magazine | Book Supreme Depot

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