Today I’m happier than a kid in a candy shop that my story, “The Kontrabida,” has just come out as the 165th issue of One Story magazine. Before I was a One Story author, I was a One Story reader, so I feel extra psyched to land in such great company. “The Kontrabida” follows Esteban “Steve” Sandoval, Jr. from New York City, where he lives, to Manila, Philippines, where his father is dying of cancer. Back in his childhood home, Steve uncovers new information about his parents, calling into question their lifelong roles as the family bida (hero) and kontrabida (villain), along with Steve’s own ideas about himself.
“The Kontrabida” was VERY lucky to find itself in the capable hands of One Story co-founder, Editor-in-Chief and author extraordinaire Hannah Tinti. It’s a cliché to compare editing to surgery, but that’s exactly the kind of precise, expert, down-and-dirty work that Hannah did on this story. She truly is as great an editor as she is a writer, which—as anyone who’s read her bewitchingly wise and funny story collection, Animal Crackers, or her luminous, heartbreaking novel, The Good Thief, knows—is saying a whole lot.