Issue #232: A Month on Greene Street by Tom Hanks

I’ve long been guilty of inaccurate first impressions. Thankfully, I usually keep them to myself—just private little assessments I make of, say, a person I see across a room. Observations I deem both intuitive and astute. What an accurate judge of character I am! I can sum you up with a glance or, at the very most, a few seconds of watching your mannerisms, your facial expressions. That’s how sharp my receptors are.

Only, they aren’t that sharp. Sometimes I’m near the mark; quite often I’m way off. “Always trust your first impression” is advice we’ve all heard before, and it’s often true—but it slams up against “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” “Don’t knock it till you try it,” and even “Proof’s in the pudding.”

Our new issue is a story called “A Month on Greene Street,” and it’s about a woman named Bette who has just moved her family into a new house. Not only does Bette rely heavily on first impressions, she also takes great stock in what she considers to be her extrasensory visions, or “pops” (as she calls them). “Pops” are little glimpses of the future Bette has now and then. Sometimes they come true; sometimes they don’t. They’re a source of comfort; they’re a source of worry. And there are quite a few of them to be had in a new home, on a new street, surrounded by new neighbors.

This story won me over the first time I read it, and upon each subsequent reading it becomes more layered, more moving, and funnier. It’s written by an author we already know to be a tremendously accomplished actor, and the fact that he’s now proving himself to be a tremendously talented writer of short stories makes me wonder what else he can do. (Levitate? Bend things with his mind?) One Story is thrilled to be giving the world its first glimpse of “A Month on Greene Street” by Tom Hanks. Be sure to check out our Q&A with the author, wherein he discusses Bette, her pops, why and how he came to write short stories, and his fondness for the good old-fashioned typewriter.

6 thoughts on “Issue #232: A Month on Greene Street by Tom Hanks

  1. Absolutely! We’ll be in touch in a day or so via email to confirm that the issue has been mailed out. Thank you for subscribing!

  2. I love this story! My One Story subscription has been fantastic so far–I enjoyed “Prairie Fire” and several others recently–but this one piqued my interest enough that I just wrote an essay on it for a literature course at my university.
    Keep up the great work with this publication! Looking forward to what comes next.

  3. Of course, it was weird reading this because Tom Hank’s voice was narrating it to me in my head. Not that it’s a bad thing, just something I couldn’t seem to shake. The story was wonderful. While I can’t say the ending surprised me, on the other hand, I would have been disappointed if Bette hadn’t finally decided that Paul was worth getting to know. The fact that it took finding out a flaw about him is what made her change her mind was a nice twist to an ending I was expecting (if that makes any sense to anyone).

  4. Hey Tom Hanks. Great story. #neverreadthecomments but of course I know like all authors.. you can’t resist! Wonderful story. Thanks OneSTory.

  5. Okay. I’ll renew my subscription. However, I am irked that someone (Tom Hanks) can have so much acting talent that he never is acting, he just IS whomever–and now he does the same thing on paper. Maybe he’s saying, oh I’m no author…just scribbling down a few words on this here paper to hear what they say back. Casual, effortless reading that leaves a memory easily confused with the real stuff.

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