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Williams, Joy

(US, 1944– )

Williams gained a creative writing degree from the University of Iowa and worked as a researcher and data analyst for the US Navy, before taking teaching posts at various American universities. She has written novels, short stories, and essays, many of which have a strong environmentalist agenda. Her novel, The Quick and the Dead (2000), tells the story of three motherless adolescent girls thrown together one long, hot summer in Arizona, where they must deal with sarcastic ghosts, homosexual fathers and predatory pianists. The novel is entertaining, incident-packed and charged with Williams's characteristic black humour. Taking Care (1982) and Escapes (1990), Williams's short story collections, offer subtler and bleaker visions of modern America, where the seemingly everyday is endowed with a just perceptible undertone of menace.

Ann Beattie, Flannery O'Connor  AL

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Tr-Z)