Three stories from our milestone Issue No. 100 received a Notable from the Best American Short Stories 2015 anthology. “One Quarrel” by Ron Carlson is one of them.
Ron Carlson is the co-director of the MFA Program in Writing (Fiction) at UC Irvine. He is the author of nearly a dozen books of fiction, most recently the novel “Return to Oakpine” (Penguin). His short stories have appeared in publications such as Esquire, Harpers, and Ploughshares. “One Quarrel,” his exquisitely evocative tale of young love set on a college campus in winter, showcases the craftsmanship for which Carlson has long been praised. This is the second story by Carlson published in ZYZZYVA to be named a Notable by the Best American Short Stories. His first was “Line from a Movie,” published in Issue No. 96.
The following is an excerpt from the story.
Since 2011, when ZYZZYVA underwent a redesign, a beefed up web site, and a change in masthead, work appearing in the journal has been attracting wide recognition. For its issues appearing in 2011 through 2014, ZYZZYVA has received twenty Notables from the Best American series, as well as inclusions in the Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poets, and Best Nonrequired Reading anthologies; the journal has also received two Pushcart Prizes and four Pushcart Special Mentions in that time.
This month, when the Best American anthologies are in stores, we’d like to excerpt the many stories and essays from 2014 that received Notables from that prestigious series. We’re starting with a story by Elizabeth Tallent, “Mendocino Fire,” from our celebrated 100th issue. The story of the peripatetic life of a young female tree-sitter, raised, and arguably forsaken, in the wilds of the forests of Northern California, it delves into the haunting ache of abandonment and an intense yearning for connection. (It’s also the title story of Tallent’s new collection, published by Harper this month.) Of Elizabeth Tallent’s work, Richard Ford has said, “Her ear is perfect; her gaze searing and unmistakable.” We think you’ll agree.