The Visiting Privilege

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Imprint: Tuskar Rock
Pages: 514
Subject: Fiction

The Visiting Privilege

Joy Williams

If you've never read Joy Williams, you've never read anyone like Joy Williams

Hardback(Preorder only)
9781781257463 (Published 3 Nov 2016)

About the book

Joy Williams' peerless short stories are unlike anything else. Her uniquely devastating, emotionally acute, morbidly funny portrayals of modern life have been captivating readers and writers for three 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.Triangulate a patch of uncharted territory between Lydia Davis, Raymond Carver and Don DeLillo, and somewhere there you'll find Williams at work. Real but surreal, bleak but funny, domestic but dangerous, familiar but enigmatic, her stories fray away the fabric at the very edge of ordinary experience to reveal the buzzing, transient, empty loneliness 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 forty-six flawless stories collected in The Visiting Privilege represent the culmination of Williams' career and cement her place as the most singular artist of short fiction writing today.

About the author

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.


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

Williams is a flawless writer, and The Visiting Privilege is a perfect book ... the rare collection that doesn't have a single story, even a single paragraph, that's less than brilliant


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

Additional Information

Imprint: Tuskar Rock
Pages: 514
Subject: Fiction

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