Read a short story from Joy Williams’ The Visiting Privilege

13 October 2017

‘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

Perhaps the greatest living master of the short story’ Neel Mukherjee

Meet the modern master of the short story: Joy Williams. Williams’ uniquely devastating portrayals of modern life have been captivating readers and writers for decades and earned her comparisons to John Cheever, Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor. 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. 

Click to read the short story ‘Another Season’ below or download a PDF.

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.

The Visiting Privilege is out on 2nd November. Pre-order your copy here