A 2016 PEN/Malamud Award Winner
A 2016 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
A Huffington Post Best Book of 2016
A New York Times Editor’s Choice
A Seattle Times Best Book of 2016
A New York Times Pick of Books We're Reading This Summer
An Amazon Best Book of the Month for July 2016
A 2016 Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, Top 10 Selection
A BookRiot Pick for New Books of July 2016
A Huffington Post Best Book of 2016
Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Joy Williams has a one-of-a-kind gift for capturing both the absurdity and the darkness of everyday life. In Ninety-Nine Stories of God, she takes on one of mankind’s most confounding preoccupations: the Supreme Being.
This series of short, fictional vignettes 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. The figures that haunt these stories range from Kafka (talking to a fish) to the Aztecs, Tolstoy to Abraham and Sarah, O. J. Simpson to a pack of wolves. Most of Williams’ 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.
At turns comic and yearning, lyric and aphoristic, Ninety-Nine Stories of God serves as a pure distillation of one of our great artists.
“Wry and playful, except for when densely allusive and willfully obtuse, Ninety-Nine Stories of God is a treasure trove of bafflements and tiny masterpieces.”
New York Times Book Review
“Joy Williams’ quietly splendid fifth collection…has a surprising heft…The prose inside is airily laid out…funny, sage, and as meditative as a book of prayers.”
“These ninety-nine religious-flavored vignettes may not tell you why we are here or where we are going, but they do possess the power to entrance.”
Minnesota Star Tribune, Best Fiction of the Year
“Sly and wonderful…[Williams is] after some big truths in a few words, stories so short that some of them could fit on Twitter, except they’re too smart and not mean enough. ”
“Joy Williams’ stories are a humanist manifesto, a celebration of our most mysterious values, desires and prejudices.”
“These stories are 100 percent Williams: funny, unsettling, and mysterious, to be puzzled over and enjoyed across multiple readings.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Williams’ prose is simple and brutal, thoughtful and haunting. A spare but startling book. ”
Booklist (starred review)
“Admirers of Williams—and anyone who treasures a story well told should be one—will find much to like here.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Perfect little gems; it’s rare when such short works can truly satisfy.”
1 out of 1 (100%) recommend this productWrite a review
Short and Sometimes SweetAugust 11, 2016Vignettes may be short, but boy do they pack a punch. Much like poetry, each entry in this collection requires multiple listens. The first listen will give you the essence, but upon each repeated listens, a depth of meaning emerges. I’m not typically a fan of any book making “God” the focal point or theme of a book, unless it’s historical or nonfiction and isn't promoting a particular religion. But most of this collection possesses a subtlety that doesn’t beat the listener over the head with the notion of the divine creator. There were many that left me chuckling, too.
Elisabeth Rodgers is an actress and audiobook narrator. After graduating from Princeton University, she completed a two-year program at William Esper Studio, where she studied with Maggie Flanigan. Her audiobook narration training came from Robin Miles, who has also directed her in several productions. She has recorded dozens of books for a multitude of publishers. She currently lives in New York.
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- Publisher: Blackstone Audio
- Genre: Fiction/Literary
- ISBN-13: 9781504760355