Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Dimmer" by Joy Williams

"Dimmer" by Joy Williams (1969, 33 pages with an introduction by Daniel Alarcon)

Joy Williams

I am enjoying reading the short stories in the just published Object Lessons:  The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story.   The editors of collection asked twenty-one contemporary masters of the short story, pretty much all Americans as are most of the story authors, to pick a story published in The Paris Review and write a brief account as to why they liked their pick.   The editors say the purpose of the collection is to show of the short story form to those who do not give it the attention it deserves.   In all I plan to post on six of the stories.  

Joy Williams (USA, 1944-graduate of University of Iowa creative writing program) has written two novels and three collections of short stories.   She has been nominated for The National American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.  She has taught creative writing at several major universities.

This story, like the others in this collection, cannot, as far as I know, be read online unless you subscribe to the review.   I will keep my post quite short and it will be more for me to recall it than for others,

"Dimmer" is about a mentally dysfunctional man named "Mal", a bit too close for comfort to my own name!   He is from Australia, in the outback type area.   His father dies and his mother abandons him as a young boy but with some charity from neighbors he is able to keep himself alive.    He gets into some trouble, impregnating a woman married to a war veteran and he ends up being sent to Los Angeles on a one way flight.   He spends some days in the airport, he cannot speak and then he is up being picked up by a woman that transports cars across country.   The fun in this story, and it really is a pleasure to read, is in the crazy capricious life of Mal.   I hope to read more Joy Williams one of these days.  

Mel u
The Reading Life


valerie sirr said...

Interesting, Mel. Must think about subscribing

Mel u said...

Valerie-I think the Paris Review and the Stinging Fly are both worth subscribing to, even though I do not because cost of Asian subscriptions is to high