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The visiting privilege : new and collected stories
2015
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Summary
The legendary writer's first collection in more than ten years--and, finally, the definitive one. A literary event of the highest order.

Joy Williams has been celebrated as a master of the short story for four decades, her renown passing as a given from one generation to the next even in the shifting landscape of contemporary writing. And at long last the incredible scope of her singular achievement is put on display: thirty-three stories drawn from three much-lauded collections, and another thirteen appearing here for the first time in book form. Forty-six stories in all, far and away the most comprehensive volume in her long career, showcasing her crisp, elegant prose, her dark wit, and her uncanny ability to illuminate our world through characters and situations that feel at once peculiar and foreign and disturbingly familiar. Virtually all American writers have their favorite Joy Williams stories, as do many readers of all ages, and each one of them is available here.
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Booklist Review
*Starred Review* It's the odd details that get you in Williams' meticulously composed, acerbically dark short stories disquieting, axis-tipping, heat-stroke tales of mental breakdown, alienation, divorce, car accidents, environmental disaster, and death. In In the Park, one of 13 new stories in this mighty retrospective embracing four decades of daring literary excellence, precisely calibrated imagination, and uncompromising candor, a ranger too gloomy about our destruction of nature to lead hikes for children actually sweats blood. Sneaking a smoke in the parking lot, he watches a raven investigating the interior of an open convertible. The bird, with its aura of Poe, picks up a pen, then drops it in favor of an empty beer huggie, a choice rife with many-chambered irony, which is one of Williams' many fortes. Thirty-three stories from past collections, including the perfect Rot, are gathered here scorching works that have established Williams as a virtuoso with a subversive, sure-footed sense of humor and an unsparing perspective on the marauding strangeness of the human condition. Williams' brooding, wry, and unpredictable new tales, including the somberly gorgeous Revenant and the sardonic Cats and Dogs, feature dementia, funerals, a boy channeling his dead grandparents, outlaw self-destruction, imperiled animals, mothers of infamous murderers, and unsupportive support groups. Jolting, tonic and valiant in their embrace of the ludicrous and the tragic, Williams' masterful stories belong in every fiction collection.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2015 Booklist
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