Joy Williams has been celebrated as a master of the short story for four decades, her renown passing 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: 33 stories drawn from three much-lauded collections and another 13 appearing here for the first time in book form.
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.