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One Story – 2004

To review this publication for the first time is to tell as much about the concept as the content.

To review this publication for the first time is to tell as much about the concept as the content. One Story is a 4×6 literary magazine, published every three weeks, that contains only one story. The creators believe that stories are best read alone – not to dilute the experience of one story with other works or to emotionally exhaust the reader with story after story. To that end, they have been successful. I can honestly say it’s exciting to see the envelope from One Story arrive. The effect of stories being rationed in a time of cultural excess and saturation is surprisingly satisfying. I find myself reading more slowly and more carefully considering the story as a stand alone whole – the way it was created. And the stories are, as promised, amazing. Of the issues I have read thus far, none have been duds. “The Duck and the Dust Eye Decision” by Shahan Sanossian (#37) is delightful in its strangeness of characters, with dialogue and dialect so precise it seems to echo in the room as I read; “The Tennis Partner” by Alix Ohlin (#38) skillfully examines the complexity of relationships delivered over the net; and my favorite thus far, “Letters in the Snow” by Melanie Rae Thon, which builds as one puzzle piece interlocking with the next as each page turns, the final picture an eerie resolution which both saddens and relieves. One Story is indeed a literary treat we each deserve to give ourselves, and an ideal gift for readers on your list. – DH

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