Housing Works – March 12

3.12.2012, 7pm, Housing Works Bookstore

Diane Williams reads from her new book of stories, Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty, with Ben Marcus (The Flame Alphabet) and Deb Olin Unferth (Revolution).

In Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty, Diane Williams lays bare the urgency and weariness that shape our lives in stories honed sharper than ever. With sentences auguring revelation and explosion, Williams’s unsettling stories—a cryptic meeting between neighbors, a woman’s sexual worries, a graveside discussion, a chimney on fir—-are narrated with razor-sharp tongues and naked, uproarious irreverence. These fifty stories hum with tension, each one so taut that it threatens to snap and send the whole thing sprawling—the mess and desire, the absurdity and hilarity, the bruises and bleeding, the blushes and disappointments and secrets. An audacious, unruly tour de force, Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty cements Diane Williams’ position as one of the best practitioners of the short form in literature today.

“The uncanny has met its ideal delivery system: the stories of Diane Williams.”
—Ben Marcus

“These stories are the Giacometti walking man, the Cornell box, that extraordinary object born out of a genius for expressing the inner murmur of the mind. Each page is like throwing open the window in an electrical storm—strange sky, air full of voltage, and inside, a square of brave. Diane Williams is hilarious, brilliant, eccentric, powerful, and, luckily, ours.”
—Deb Olin Unferth