Ninety-nine Stories of God
Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Joy Williams has a one-of-a-kind gift for capturing both the absurdity and the darkness of everyday life. In Ninety-Nine Stories of God, she takes on one of mankind's most confounding preoccupations: the Supreme Being.
This series of short, fictional vignettes explores our day-to-day interactions with an ever-elusive and arbitrary God. It's the Book of Common Prayer as seen through a looking glass-a powerfully vivid collection of seemingly random life moments. The figures that haunt these stories range from Kafka (talking to a fish) to the Aztecs, Tolstoy to Abraham and Sarah, O. J. Simpson to a pack of wolves. Most of Williams' characters, however, are like the rest of us: anonymous strivers and bumblers who brush up against God in the least expected places or go searching for him when he's standing right there. The Lord shows up at a hot-dog-eating contest, a demolition derby, a formal gala, and a drugstore, where he's in line to get a shingles vaccination.
At turns comic and yearning, lyric and aphoristic, Ninety-Nine Stories of God serves as a pure distillation of one of our great artists.
From 'the literary heir to Anton Chekov' (Washington Post) comes 'a treasure trove of bafflements and tiny masterpieces' (New York Times) - brand new microfiction from American master Joy Williams
Funny, fantastical ... Williams' says more in a page-long scene than most can say in a chapter; it's fitting, then, that her very short collection manages to encompass such an eternal theme with wit and grace. Huffington Post To read Joy Williams is to be arrested in a state of relentless awe and wonderment ... why we aren't worshipping Joy Williams in public squares is beyond me Vanity Fair She belongs in the company of Celine and Flannery O'Connor -- James Salter One of our most remarkable storytellers -- Ann Beattie One of the great American short story writers -- Jay McInerney A treasure trove of bafflements and tiny masterpieces ... chains of association appeared and disappeared like currents in a swift-flowing stream The New York Times Radically compressed ... new territory for Williams, with a brevity and a strict whimsy you might encounter in Lydia Davis's work ... easy to follow and hard to fathom; easy to enjoy and harder to absorb New Yorker A collection of tiny, wry masterpieces. [100 Notable Books of the Year] New York Times
Joy Williams is the author of four novels - the most recent, The Quick and the Dead, was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 - and three collections of stories, as well as Ill Nature, a book of essays that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among her many honours are the Rea Award for the Short Story and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and Laramie, Wyoming.