Byliner Publishes 99 STORIES OF GOD
By Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award Finalist Joy Williams
“I would follow the trail of Joy Williams’s words—always beautiful, compelling, and so wise—anywhere they led.”
—Chuck Palahniuk, author of the bestselling Choke, Fight Club, and Phoenix
April 25, 2013—San Francisco—Today Byliner is publishing Joy Williams’s new fiction e-short, 99 Stories of God ($1.99), the first new book in a decade from the acclaimed author of State of Grace, Escapes, Taking Care, and Breaking and Entering. Williams has a one-of-a-kind gift for capturing both the absurdity and the darkness of everyday life, and in 99 Stories of God she takes on one of mankind’s most confounding preoccupations: the Supreme Being.
Joy Williams has long been a favorite of some of the country’s best writers, who’ve called her “one of our most remarkable storytellers” (Anne Beattie), “the most gifted writer of her generation” (Harold Brodkey), and “one of the masters of the contemporary short story” (George Plimpton). Raymond Carver kept it simple, declaring her “simply a wonder.”
Through this series of short, fictional vignettes, Williams 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 that is by turns comic and yearning and Kafkaesque. Kafka himself makes an appearance (talking to a fish), as do Tolstoy, the Aztecs, Abraham and Sarah, and O. J. Simpson. Most of Williams’s characters, however, are like the rest of us: anonymous strivers and bumblers who brush up against God in the least expected places or go searching for Him when He’s standing right there. The Lord shows up at a hot-dog-eating contest, a demolition derby, a formal gala, and a drugstore, where he’s in line to get a shingles vaccination:
“Have you ever had chicken pox?” asked the pharmacist.
“Of course,” the Lord said.
“How did you hear about us?”
Herself the daughter of a minister, Joy Williams instinctively understands one sure truth about God: He always gets the last laugh.
About the Author: Joy Williams is the author of such classics of American fiction as State of Grace, Taking Care, Escapes, and Breaking and Entering. Her essays on ecological matters have been widely anthologized and collected in Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals. She is also the author of The Florida Keys: A History & Guide. Williams lives in Arizona, Wyoming, and Florida.
About Byliner: Byliner works directly with the world’s best writers to deliver great stories to readers. We publish original fiction and nonfiction by top authors, including bestsellers such as Amy Tan’s Rules for Virgins, Margaret Atwood’s Positron, Jon Krakauer’s Three Cups of Deceit, Ann Patchett’s The Getaway Car, Nick Hornby’s Everyone’s Reading Bastard, Buzz Bissinger’s After Friday Night Lights, Chuck Palahniuk’s Phoenix, Alexandra Fuller’s Falling, Richard Russo’s Nate in Venice, and Sebastian Junger’s A World Made of Blood. These quick-read stories are written to be read in two hours or less, and can be purchased individually through major digital bookstores. The entire Byliner Originals library is available online to Byliner subscribers, who also get access to premium content from our by-invitation community of writers—including thousands of rarely seen and exclusive stories by bestselling authors.
99 Stories of God is available for $1.99 as a Kindle Single at Amazon, a Quick Read at Apple’s iBookstore, a Nook Snap at BarnesAndNoble.com, and a Short Read at Kobo. For a review copy or to schedule an interview with Joy Williams, please contact Clare Hertel at email@example.com; 505-474-6783.