Last week, the wonderful Harvey Hix and Kate Northrop hosted a small gathering for those involved in the Creative Writing program. We all had the pleasure of hearing Joy Williams read a short story from her new collection, The Visiting Privilege. The story she read, “The Mother Cell,” witnesses the annual gathering of mothers whose sons grew up to be serial killers. Jason Burge, a fiction alum, introduced Joy as “the grand dame of American letters,” and the reading was a testament to how apt that introduction really is.
Last week New York Times Magazine featured a profile with the brilliant Joy Williams. We still can’t really believe how lucky we are to have Joy as a Writer in Residence. She’ll be spending the month of October in Laramie and we’re all really looking forward to her visit.
From the profile:
“Williams seems to be searching for nothing less than a kind of artistic transfiguration, one in which humanity’s role in fiction is lessened decidedly. ‘Short stories need to touch people on a deeper level, a deeper, stranger level,’ she told me that night, ‘and they don’t.’ When I asked Williams what she wants out of a great story, she replied, ‘I want to be devastated in some way.'”