Issue #194: Coda by Whitney Groves

cover_194I’m thrilled to announce our next issue: “Coda” by Whitney Groves. Since Contributing Editor Karen Friedman saw this story through its paces, I’m turning the introducing reins over into her capable hands. I hope you all enjoy this exciting fiction debut from a talented new voice. -HT

A father’s love is supposed to be a transcendent thing, unconditional, reliable and protective, reminiscent of a reasonably priced Subaru. The iconography of fatherhood is used to sell us everything from sodas to appliances. But as we all know, reality rarely emulates the ideal. So what happens when the paternal relationship is nothing more than a loose tether? Our latest issue, “Coda”, by debut author Whitney Groves explores one such father-daughter relationship. The main character, Vera, has spent the majority of her life knowing very little about her father – hazy memories and scraps of information provided by a reluctant mother. The story alternates between Vera’s final encounter with her father and the moments that brought Vera to a reconciliation with the man who abandoned her sixteen years earlier. “Coda” is a quiet story about what remains when a relationship falls short of even modest expectations. As an editor, I am struck by Vera’s measured response to her father. Anger would have been the easy route. Instead, Vera’s journey is one of longing mostly endured. Groves fills that longing with tension and, most surprisingly, humor. By bringing the reader close to Vera, we understand her desire at the most basic human level to be seen and validated by her father, to be loved by a man she has never known. It is an honor to introduce Whitney Groves to all of you in her first published piece of fiction. For more on how Whitney developed this beautiful and heartbreaking story please check out our author Q&A.

2 thoughts on “Issue #194: Coda by Whitney Groves

  1. I devour my One Story as soon as it arrives and each issue is a quality experience. Coda affected me deeply. As a daughter of a present but emotionally hard to reach father, I could scarcely breathe as I read it. I paused often to absorb Whitney Groves’ dead-on word choices and the profound simplicity of the final sentences. The mystery and craft of great writing is all here. Thank you.

  2. I have subscribed to OneStory for about a year. Sometimes I read only a page or two of a story before puttting it aside. On other occasions, as with Coda, I read straight through. My primary interest is in the quality of the writing, of which I am, at best, an advanced amateur. I liked Coda from this perspective a lot. As a quasi-professional musician, I found that element in the story engaging. I often am mistaken when guessing/supposing the sex of the narrator of a story. This time I was “wrong again” which happens to be the title of a fine current retrospective book by a former New Yorker editor, Daniel Menaker.
    Keep up the good work, Whitney Groves; lucky students to have you for their Emglish teacher. Steve Thomas

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