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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

New and Notable: Joy Williams' The Visiting Privilege

Hey there, short fiction fans...the new collection from Joy Williams has arrived!

Haven't read her? Well, Joy Williams' work has been praised by the likes of Carver, Beattie, Moody, and Saunders so you know you're in good hands. The Visiting Privilege is made up of thirty-three stories (thirteen of them appearing for the first time here) and as far as I've seen so far, there ain't a dud among them. William's is a master of sprinkling spice into the mundane by knocking us off- kilter with believable yet knowingly weird dialogue that commands emotional response.

"I shit something that looked like an onion once," a man said. "It just kept coming out of me. I pulled it out myself with my own hands. I thought it was the devil, but it was a worm. A gift from Central America".
"That is so disgusting", the other fat girl said, "That is the most --"
"Hey" the man said. "Get yourself a life woman".

The cruel humour that Williams' uses imbues her stories with a strong feeling of truth - the way our mind sees things, even if our eyes don't - and therein lie the sparks, the short bursts that keep us reading. This collection is highly recommended.

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