Misanthropic Alice is a budding eco-terrorist. Corvus has dedicated herself to mourning. Annabel is desperate to pursue the indulgences of ordinary American life. Misfit and motherless, these three teenage girls traverse a surreal desert landscape of eccentric characters, air-conditioning and darkly illuminating signs and portents.
Welcome to The Quick and the Dead, the fourth novel by acclaimed fiction writer Joy Williams. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, Williams will read from her work for Washington University’s Writing Program in Arts & Sciences.
Sponsored as part of The Writing Program’s spring Reading Series, the event is free and open to the public and takes place in Hurst Lounge, Room 201 Duncker Hall.
A reception and book signing will immediately follow. For more information, call (314) 935-7130.
In addition to The Quick and the Dead, which was nominated for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize, Williams is author of the novels State of Grace (1973) — a finalist for the National Book Award — The Changeling (1978) and Breaking and Entering (1988).
Her story collections include Taking Care (1982), Escapes (1990) and Honored Guest (2004). Her work is widely anthologized and has appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, Granta and Grand Street. In 1999, she received the Rea Award for the short story.
Other books include the essay collection Ill Nature (2001), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, and a travel guide, The Florida Keys (1986).
James Salter has written that Williams belongs, “in the company of Céline, Flannery O’Connor and Margaret Atwood,” while Don DeLillo, writing of The Quick and the Dead, noted that, “Joy Williams has produced a hard, sharp, comic novel about the off-kilter genius of adolescence — and a work of maverick insight and rash and beautiful bursts of language.”
Born in 1944 in Massachusetts, Williams graduated from Marietta College and earned a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Iowa in 1965. She has taught at the University of Houston, University of Florida, University of Iowa and the University of Arizona.
She lives in Arizona and Key West.