“Waiting for the Miracle” by Lara Vapnyar Originally published in the April 25, 2016 issue of The New Yorker. Click here to read the story in its entirety on The New Yorker website.
In 2003, Vapnyar published her debut story in The New Yorker, “Love Lessons, Mondays, 9 a.m.” Over next decade, she published the past few years, Lara Vapnyar has published five more in the magazine, including a couple of stories we’ve posted on, though hardly discussed, here: “Fischer vs. Spassky” in 2012 (our post here) and “Katania” in 2013 (our post here). Neither got a massive response here (indeed, no one really wrote anything about “Fischer vs. Spassky,” though I remember reading it quite late in the game).
Consequently, for me, Vapnyar remains very much an unknown entity. Looking into her history a bit for this post, I am impressed with all she has accomplished. Apparently, she only started learning English in 1994, when she moved to Brooklyn from Moscow. Her first book was published in 2002, with a story in The New Yorker arriving in 2003. That’s an amazing story right there, and it looks like many of her stories circle around the experience of Russian émigrés in New York.
That’s the basic setup for “Waiting for the Miracle” as well.
Looking forward to any thoughts below!