The Visiting Privilege (Paperback)Joy Williams (author)
'How to tell the story of a 500-page collection of stories spanning more than forty years? Especially when I really want to just exclaim, "Oh, Oh, OH!" in a state of steadily mounting rapture'
Geoff Dyer, Observer
Williams' uniquely devastating portrayals of modern life have been captivating readers and writers for decades. Here, for the first time, Williams' thirty-three best stories are available in a single volume, together with thirteen new stories that show a writer continuing to mould the form into something strange and new.
Bleak but funny, real but surreal, domestic but dangerous, familiar but enigmatic, Joy Williams' stories fray away the fabric at the edge of ordinary experience to reveal the loneliness at the heart of human life.
In 'The Lover', a girl suffers a spiritual and physical wasting away; in 'The Visiting Privilege', a visitor finds refuge in her friend's psychiatric ward; in 'Charity', a woman gives a poor family gas money and finds herself marooned in their peculiar world; in 'Another Season' an itinerant man cleanses an island of roadkill; in 'Craving' an alcoholic couple head towards a car crash.
The Visiting Privilege represents the culmination of Williams' career and cements her place as the most singular artist of short fiction writing today.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 512
Weight: 356 g
Dimensions: 194 x 128 x 40 mm
Perhaps the greatest living master of the short story ... easily taking her place among the ranks of Mavis Gallant, Flannery O'Connor, Grace Paley, John Cheever and Raymond Carver - Neel Mukherjee, Guardian Books of the Year
Joy Williams is a stone-cold 100% American original ... a treasure trove of high-octane prose and surreal wit - Rupert Thomson, Herald Books of the Year
An electric and dangerously human volume - Philip Hensher, Spectator Books of the Year
The literary heir to Anton Chekhov - Washington Post
Williams is a flawless writer, and The Visiting Privilege is a perfect book - NPR
Joy Williams is simply a wonder - Raymond Carver
She belongs in the company of Céline and Flannery O'Connor - James Salter
How to tell the story of a 500-page collection of stories spanning more than 40 years? Especially when I really want to just exclaim, "Oh, Oh, OH!" in a state of steadily mounting rapture - Geoff Dyer, Observer
The Visiting Privilege cements Williams's position not merely as one of the great writers of her generation, but as our pre-eminent bard of humanity's insignificance - New York Times Magazine
Powerful, important, compassionate, and full of dark humor. This is a book that will be reread with admiration and love many times over - Vanity Fair
One of the most fearless, abyss-embracing literary projects our literature has seen ... ruthless, hilarious work that holds our human folly to the fire ... you can't much pin Joy Williams down with any obvious dark masters. She is American and contemporary and strange, comfortable in the skin of domestic realism, even if that mode is a kind of misleading costume for a far more sinister project not often seen in American, or any, short fiction - Ben Marcus, New York Times Book Review
Deep, dazzling, disconcerting - Adam Foulds
Dark, funny, spare and unsparing ... wonderful ... Williams is fully alive to the tragicomedy of our transient lives. - Eithne Farry, Sunday Express
Revisiting the edgy, perceptive, provocative stories of Joy Williams make The Visiting Privilege a celebration. From the opening story, 'Taking Care', Williams confirms her ironic pathos and consummate timing, and rarely falters. - Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
Williams's short stories portray the edges of modern life in vivid, staccato detail and make for compelling reading. The narrative threads move forward in unpredictable, exciting and often unsettling detail. - Guardian, readers' BOTY 2016
One of the great American short story writers - Jay McInerney
The bright-bleak grand master of short stories - Lauren Groff, New Yorker
How had Joy Williams been missing from my life for so long? What a writer. What a voice. What a way of seeing. - Laura Barnett, Twitter
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