Synopses & Reviews
The Collected Stories of Diane Williams brings together over three hundred new and previously published short fictions — distilled works of “unsettling brilliance” (Vanity Fair) that have rewritten the rules of the American short story.
“Diane Williams has spent her long, prolific career concocting fictions of perfect strangeness, most of them no more than a page long. She’s a hero of the form: the sudden fiction, the flash fiction, whatever it’s being called these days. The stories are short. They defy logic. They thumb their nose at conventional sense, or even unconventional sense. But if sense is in short supply in these texts, that leaves more room for splendor and sorrow. These stories upend expectations and prize enigma and the uncanny above all else. The Williams epiphany should be patented, or bottled — on the other hand, it should also be regulated and maybe rationed, because it’s severe. It’s a rare feeling her stories trigger, but it’s a keen and deep and welcome one, the sort of feeling that wakes us up to complication and beauty and dissonance and fragility.”
– From Ben Marcus’ introduction to The Collected Stories of Diane Williams
“She is one of the very few contemporary prose writers who seem to be doing something independent, energetic, heartfelt.”
“Discomfitingly and devastatingly funny, Williams upends the mundane, the painful, and the unusual, resulting — much in the way an art teacher might ask her class to copy a photograph upside-down — in precision and clarity.”
“Diane Williams is one of the true living heroes of the American avant-garde. Her fiction makes very familiar things very, very weird.”
“A pleasure for readers attentive to both language and story. Fans of flash fiction will want to study at the feet of this master of the form.”
About the Author
Diane Williams is the founder and editor of the distinguished literary annual, NOON, the archive of which, as well as William’s personal literary archive, was acquired in 2014 by the Lilly Library. She is the author of eight previous volumes of short fiction. She lives in New York City.