Joy Williams

Joy Williams is an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist. She is known for her distinctive prose style and exploration of themes such as environmentalism, mortality, and the human relationship with nature. Williams has received critical acclaim for her work, which includes novels such as 'The Quick and the Dead' and 'State of Grace,' as well as her short story collections like 'The Visiting Privilege.' Her writing has earned her several awards and nominations, including the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Honored Guest

    "Honored Guest" is a collection of short stories that explore the themes of death, loss, and grief. The narratives delve into the lives of various characters dealing with these themes, such as a mother dying of cancer, a woman coping with her mother's death, and a girl struggling with her father's unexpected passing. The stories are poignant and often surreal, offering a deep examination of human emotions and the complexities of life and death.

    The 5674th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Quick And The Dead

    This novel is a darkly comic exploration of life, death, and morality, set in the deserts of the American Southwest. It follows the intertwined lives of three teenage girls, each dealing with their own personal losses and existential questions. The narrative delves into themes of environmental degradation, the absurdity of the human condition, and the search for meaning in a seemingly indifferent universe. Through its vividly drawn characters and landscapes, the story examines the thin line between the quick (the living) and the dead, offering a poignant reflection on the nature of existence.

    The 5876th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Changeling

    "The Changeling" tells the story of Pearl, a young woman who marries a wealthy alcoholic, Thomas, and moves to a remote island where she is isolated from society. She gives birth to a son, but becomes convinced that her child has been replaced by a changeling. The narrative follows her descent into madness and explores themes of motherhood, alcoholism, and the supernatural.

    The 6104th Greatest Book of All Time