|Born||February 11, 1944|
|Occupation||novelist, short story writer, essayist|
|Period||1973 – present|
Joy Williams (born February 11, 1944) is an American novelist, short-story writer, and essayist.
Williams is the author of four novels. Her first, State of Grace (1973), was nominated for a National Book Award for Fiction. Her most recent novel, The Quick and the Dead (2000), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Her first collection of short stories, Taking Care, was published in 1982. A second collection, Escapes, followed in 1990. A 2001 essay collection, Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Honored Guest, a collection of short stories, was published in 2004. A 30th anniversary reprint of The Changeling was issued in 2008 with an introduction by the American novelist Rick Moody.The book was also republished in 2018 to celebrate 40 years from its original publication.
A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, normally written in prose form, and which is typically published as a book.
The National Book Awards are a set of annual U.S. literary awards. At the final National Book Awards Ceremony every November, the National Book Foundation presents the National Book Awards and two lifetime achievement awards to authors.
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It recognizes distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, published during the preceding calendar year. As the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, it was one of the original Pulitzers; the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year.
Her stories and essays are frequently anthologized, and she has received many awards and honors, including the Harold and Mildred Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Rea Award for the Short Story. In 2008, she was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
In book publishing, an anthology is a collection of literary works chosen by the compiler. It may be a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts by different authors. In genre fiction, anthology is used to categorize collections of shorter works such as short stories and short novels, by different authors, each featuring unrelated casts of characters and settings, and usually collected into a single volume for publication.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters is a 250-member honor society; its goal is to "foster, assist, and sustain excellence" in American literature, music, and art. Located in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, it shares Audubon Terrace, a complex on Broadway between West 155th and 156th Streets, with the Hispanic Society of America and Boricua College.
The Rea Award for the Short Story is an annual award given to a living American or Canadian author chosen for unusually significant contributions to short story fiction.
Williams was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.She received a BA from Marietta College and a MFA from the University of Iowa. She has taught creative writing at the University of Houston, the University of Florida, the University of Iowa, and the University of Arizona. For the 2008-2009 academic year, Williams was the writer-in-residence at the University of Wyoming, and continued thereafter as an affiliated faculty member of the English department. She lives in Key West, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona. Williams was married for 34 years to L. Rust Hills, fiction editor for Esquire , until his death on August 12, 2008.
Chelmsford is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 33,802. Only 48.4% are male and the median age of residents in Chelmsford is 39.2 years old. It is located 24 miles (39 km) northwest of Boston and, bordering on the city of Lowell, is part of the Greater Lowell metropolitan area. Besides Lowell on its northeast, Chelmsford is surrounded by four towns: Tyngsborough to the north, Billerica to the southeast, Carlisle to the south, and Westford to the west. Chelmsford is bordered by two sizable rivers: the Merrimack River to the north, and the Concord River to the east.
A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.
Marietta College is a private liberal arts college in Marietta, Ohio. The college offers 45 majors. The school encompasses approximately three city blocks next to downtown Marietta and enrolls 1,200 full-time students.
Williams's fiction often portrays life as a downward spiral, addressing various forms of failure in America, from spiritual, ecological, and economic perspectives. Her characters, generally from the middle class, frequently fall from it, at times in bizarre fashion, in a form of cultural dispossession.Williams's adult characters are usually divorced, her children are abandoned, and their lives are consumed with fear, often irrational, such as the little girl in the story "The Excursion," who is terrified that birds will fly out of her toilet bowl. The critic Rosellen Brown characterizes the figures in Williams's work as seeming to be "born spiritually on the lam, living their clammy lives in a watery, vegetation-laden, untended-feeling place ... in ineffective shade." Critics have also noted her work as having elements of both minimalism and the Gothic.
The middle class is a class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy. The very definition of the term "middle class" is highly political and vigorously contested by various schools of political and economic philosophy. Modern social theorists - and especially economists - have defined and re-defined the term "middle class" in order to serve their particular political ends. The definitions of the term "middle class" therefore are the result of the more- or less-scientific methods used when delineating the parameters of what is and isn't "middle class".
In visual arts, music, and other mediums, minimalism is an art movement that began in post–World War II Western art, most strongly with American visual arts in the 1960s and early 1970s. Prominent artists associated with minimalism include Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella. It derives from the reductive aspects of modernism and is often interpreted as a reaction against abstract expressionism and a bridge to postminimal art practices.
The goth subculture is a subculture that began in England during the early 1980s, where it developed from the audience of gothic rock, an offshoot of the post-punk genre. The name, goth subculture, derived directly from the music genre. Notable post-punk groups that presaged that genre and helped develop and shape the subculture, include Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Bauhaus and The Cure. The goth subculture has survived much longer than others of the same era, and has continued to diversify and spread throughout the world. Its imagery and cultural proclivities indicate influences from 19th-century Gothic literature and gothic horror films. The scene is centered on music festivals, nightclubs and organized meetings, especially in Western Europe.
In an introductory note in 1995's edition of Best American Short Stories, Williams wrote: "All art is about nothingness: our apprehension of it, our fear of it, its approach."
Williams is especially noted for her writing on the environment. In addition to her work Ill Nature, she is the author of a guidebook on the Florida Keys, which Conde Nast described as "one of the best guidebooks ever written" and "a magnificent, tragicomic guide."
The Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida, forming the southernmost portion of the continental United States. They begin at the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas. The islands lie along the Florida Straits, dividing the Atlantic Ocean to the east from the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest, and defining one edge of Florida Bay. At the nearest point, the southern part of Key West is just 90 miles (140 km) from Cuba. The Florida Keys are between about 23.5 and 25.5 degrees North latitude.
Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor is an American author, storyteller, humorist, voice actor, and radio personality. He is best known as the creator of the Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) show A Prairie Home Companion, which he hosted from 1974 to 2016. Keillor created the fictional Minnesota town Lake Wobegon, the setting of many of his books, including Lake Wobegon Days and Leaving Home: A Collection of Lake Wobegon Stories. Other creations include Guy Noir, a detective voiced by Keillor who appeared in A Prairie Home Companion comic skits. Keillor is also the creator of the five-minute daily radio/podcast program The Writer's Almanac, which pairs one or two poems of his choice with a script about important literary, historical, and scientific events that coincided with that date in history.
Octavia Estelle Butler was an African-American science fiction author. A multiple recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, she became in 1995 the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship.
Esquire is an American men's magazine, published by the Hearst Corporation in the United States. Founded in 1933, it flourished during the Great Depression under the guidance of founders Arnold Gingrich, David A. Smart and Henry L. Jackson.
Edna Ann Proulx is an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist. She has written most frequently as Annie Proulx but has also used the names E. Annie Proulx and E.A. Proulx.
Grace Paley was an American short story author, poet, teacher, and political activist.
Cordelia Caroline Sherman, known professionally as Delia Sherman, is an American fantasy writer and editor. Her novel The Porcelain Dove won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award.
Amy Hempel is an American short story writer and journalist. She teaches creative writing at Bennington College and University of Florida.
Karen Joy Fowler is an American author of science fiction, fantasy, and literary fiction. Her work often centers on the nineteenth century, the lives of women, and alienation.
Christine Schutt, an American novelist and short story writer, has been a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She received her BA and MA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her MFA from Columbia University. She is also a senior editor at NOON, the literary annual published by Diane Williams.
Antonya Nelson is an American author and teacher of creative writing who writes primarily short stories.
Rosellen Brown is an American author, and has been an instructor of English and creative writing at several universities, including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Houston. She has won several grants and awards for her work, including the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. The 1996 film Before and After was adapted from her novel of the same name.
David Ross Huddle is an American writer and professor. His most recent book is Blacksnake at the Family Reunion. His poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper's Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Story, The Autumn House Anthology of Poetry, and The Best American Short Stories. His work has also been included in anthologies of writing about the Vietnam War. He is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and currently teaches creative fiction, poetry, and autobiography at the University of Vermont and at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Huddle was born in Ivanhoe, Wythe County, Virginia, and he is sometimes considered an Appalachian writer. He served as an enlisted man in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1967, in Germany as a paratrooper and then in Vietnam as a military intelligence specialist.
Mary Cennamo Robison is an American short story writer and novelist. She has published four collections of stories, and four novels, including her 2001 novel Why Did I Ever, winner of the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction. Her most recent novel, released in 2009, is One D.O.A., One on the Way. She has been categorized as a founding "minimalist" writer along with authors such as Amy Hempel, Frederick Barthelme, and Raymond Carver. In 2009, she won the Rea Award for the Short Story.
Ella Leffland is an American novelist and short story writer. Highly regarded by other writers, her novels demonstrate stunning mastery of the techniques of realistic fiction; but Leffland uses her facility to illuminate characters whose imaginative lives are rich and often strange. The settings of most of her works are in northern California, where she grew up; she is perhaps best known for her semi-autobiographical novel Rumors of Peace about a girl coming of age during World War II. The fascination with personal and social evil that Leffland explores in Rumors of Peace emerges powerfully in her ambitious historical novel based on the life of Hermann Göring, Knight, Death and the Devil, published in 1990.
Jeannine Hall Gailey is an American poet. She has published five books of poetry. Her work focuses on pop culture, science and science fiction, fairy tales, and mythology.
Enid Shomer is an American poet and fiction writer. She is the author of four poetry collections, two short story collections and a novel. Her poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Paris Review, The New Criterion, Parnassus, Kenyon Review, Tikkun, and in anthologies including The Best American Poetry. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, New Stories from the South, the Year's Best, Modern Maturity, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Her stories, poems, and essays have been included in more than fifty anthologies and textbooks, including Poetry: A HarperCollins Pocket Anthology. Her book reviews and essays have appeared in The New Times Book Review, The Women's Review of Books, and elsewhere. Two of her books, Stars at Noon and Imaginary Men, were the subjects of feature interviews on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her writing is often set in or influenced by life in the State of Florida. Shomer was Poetry Series Editor for the University of Arkansas Press from 2002-2015, and has taught at many universities, including the University of Arkansas, Florida State University, and the Ohio State University, where she was the Thurber House Writer-in-Residence.
Lawrence Rust Hills was an American author and fiction editor at Esquire from 1957 to 1964, though he remained associated with the magazine until 1999.
Beaver's Pond Press is a hybrid publishing company based in Edina, Minnesota that publishes independent authors and artists. Combining elements of royalty and self-publishing models to create what they term a “mentoring press,” Beaver's Pond Press is known for their personal interactions and creative approach to publishing.
Mary Ann Taylor-Hall is an American fiction writer and poet. She is the author of two novels, a book of short fiction, three collections of poetry, and has published widely in literary journals. She has lived on a farm in Kentucky for many years and was married to poet James Baker Hall.