The Year of Joy Williams


This week brings with it the news that Joy Williams will be getting the “New and Collected Stories” treatment, with The Visiting Privilege due out from Knopf in September. And given that Joy Williams writes some of the most memorably unclassifiable fiction out there (to say nothing of her equally searing nonfiction), it’s probably a good time to delve into her work if you’re unfamiliar. Her novels The Quick and the Dead and The Changeling are both good starting points for her fiction; she also contributed the introduction to Jane Bowles’s My Sister’s Hand in Mine. Williams can move from precise realism to  disquieting surrealism in a moment’s notice; she’s an incomparable figure in American literature right now. And in the fall, you’ll be able to sit down with a whole bunch of her short stories. Doesn’t seem like the worst way to spend a season, does it?

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