>One Story #69

>I’m a bit behind in my One Story reading. “The Six Poisons” by Dani Shapiro is in Issue Number 69, but Number 75 arrived recently and I understand that 76 is on the way. But . . . better late than never.

The story is an enjoyable read, largely because it transports us to India and the world of yoga. And because it deals with a harsh family conflict, it isn’t hard to relate. Here, Emma has traveled from New York to Mysore, India to study with Guruji. She runs into her step-sister, Rebecca, also from New York, whom she hasn’t seen in ten years, since their father died. There is bad blood between them or, rather, six poisons. Emma tries to make amends, but Rebecca wants none of it.

“The morning air is thick and wavery with diesel fumes that spit out the back of passing rickshaws as Emma makes her way across the road to the coconut man. She is drifting, paying no attention. A boy on a bicycle wobbles by, narrowly missing her. His handlebars are draped with a wreath of jasmine.”

Despite the story’s appeal, for me it was very slow to begin. Until Rebecca shows up, despite interesting details, there’s not much happening. And while, in life, coincidences happen, the simultaneous appearance in India of these two women from New York, which is at the crux of this story, is a little hard to swallow.

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