300 short stories:: story 217

story: “The Excursion”

author: Joy Williams

year: 1972

where: Dining hall on Saadiyat

note: What a fascinating story construction; Williams moves seamlessly in and out of childhood and adulthood of the protagonist.

a line: “Jenny lies a little. She is just a little girl, a child with fears. She fears that birds will fly out of the toilet bowl. Starlings with slick black wings. She fears trees and fishes and the bones in meat. She lies a little but it is not considered serious.’”

theme(s): Childhood, Sexuality, Truth

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300 short stories:: story 216

story: “The Wedding ”

author: Joy Williams

year: 1972

where: home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play

note: The ending reminds me of the Chagall painting “Over the Town”…also his “Wedding” but not as much!

a line: “The people in Elizabeth’s fables were always looking for truth or happiness and they were always being given mirrors or lumps of coals. Elizabeth’s stories were inhabited by wolves and cart horses and solipsists.’”

theme(s): Love, Marriage, Storytelling

300 short stories:: story 214

story: “The Lover”

author: Joy Williams

year: Originally published in 1973 in Esquire 

where: Abu Dhabi

note: I’ve been reading Joan Silber’s non-ficiton book The Art of  Time in Fiction, which explores the various ways writers convey the passage of time in their stories, and maybe that is why I am so mesmerized by how Williams’ moves through months and years in this story. She does it multiple ways in different parts of the narrative!

a line: “She and the man travel all over the South in his white convertible. The girl brings dolls and sandals and sugar animals back to the child. Sometimes the child travels with them.’”

theme(s): Love, Motherhood, Insomnia