Synopses & Reviews
With her singular brand of gorgeous dark humor, Joy Williams explores the various ways-comic, tragic, and unnerving—we seek to accommodate diminishment and loss. A masseuse breaks her rich client's wrist bone, a friend visits at the hospital long after she is welcome, and a woman surrenders her husband to a creepily adoring student. From one of our most acclaimed writers, Honored Guest is a rich examination of our capacity for transformation and salvation.
The first collection of stories in well over a decade by a writer Ann Beattie has called "one of our most remarkable storytellers," and whom Bret Easton Ellis has named "the rightful heir to the mastery, genius, and poetry of Flannery O'Connor."
These twelve stories further Joy Williams's utterly singular achievement, described by the "Washington Post as "poetic, disturbing, yet very funny . . . the brilliantly controlled style informed by a powerful spiritual vision," and again reveal her ability to uncover, as Michiko Kakutani wrote in the "New York Times, "the somber verities lurking beneath the flash and clamor of daily life."
Her landscapes reach from Maine and Nantucket to the Southwest and into Mexico and Guatemala, while the events cover a range of human travail, from children confronting the death of a parent to parents instead burying their own young, and the various ways-comic, tragic, unnerving-we seek to accommodate diminishment and loss. And all of her characters are richly, idiosyncratically alive, in circumstances at once supremely peculiar and strangely like our own.
"From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Joy Williams is the author of four novels-the most recent, The Quick and the Dead,
was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001-and two earlier collections of stories, as well as Ill Nature,
a book of essays that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Among her many honors are the Rea Award for the short story and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Key West, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona.
Joy Williamss Ill Nature, The Quick and the Dead, State of Grace, and Taking Care are available in Vintage paperback.
From the Hardcover edition.