Issue #234: The Crazies by Maud Streep

This month’s story, “The Crazies,” was found and edited by contributing editor Will Allison, so I’m happily turning the steering wheel over to him to guide us in. — PR

As many a cowboy ballad can tell you, the halo glow of new love never lasts. Sometimes it simmers down with age; sometimes it flames into something else; and sometimes it just flickers out. It’s one of those lessons we all learn sooner or later.

Even so, when I read “The Crazies” by Maud Streep, I couldn’t help but be charmed by the halo glow of its early pages. The narrator, a recent Yale grad, heads to Montana, takes a job at a Wild West tourist attraction, and falls in love with a cowboy named Jake. Their marriage is a happy whirlwind of cheap beer, sex, optimism, and simple, carefree living.

But halfway through the story, the couple’s happiness turns to anguish. At the risk of giving away too much: something terrible happens on an elk hunting trip in The Crazy Mountains, and the narrator and Jake may or may not be responsible. How each of them deals with this possibility will determine whether their love endures, or whether it flickers out.

“The Crazies” is wise about life and relationships in ways one would expect from a veteran storyteller. As it happens, though, this is Maud Streep’s first published story. We are very pleased to present One Story’s second debut of 2017, and we hope you are as crazy about “The Crazies” as we are.

Visit the One Story website to read our Q&A with the author.

1 thought on “Issue #234: The Crazies by Maud Streep

  1. I’ve been waiting over a week to make the time needed to plug myself into the latest color of One Story to have arrived in my mailbox. “The Crazies” happened to be that story, hunter green. Now that I have read it and am rereading it, line by line, I find myself also opening a spreadsheet and attempting to dissect what makes it ravish me, in the middle of a California wildfire, on a granular level. I’ve never done this before, taken a story apart with a microscope. I’m very pleased to read that it has taken Maud five years, off and on, to write it, because it may take me the same, more or less, to reread it. Thank you, One Story, for curating great stories from a swath of voices, veteran and emerging, in fiction.

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