Boise State's Master of Fine Arts reading series continues Friday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lookout Room at the Student Union Building with author Joy Williams.
Williams' first novel, State of Grace (1973), was well-received and earned a nomination for a National Book Award. But her second novel, The Changeling (1978), suffered a scathing review from New York Times critic Anatole Broyard. In 2008, it got a second chance when it was reissued after being out print.
In an interview with Bookslut, Williams said of The Changeling:
The late '70s were a tough time for women novelists. We were supposed to be feminist, engaged, angry. It was really, weirdly, a very conformist time. (Of course, Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon came out around then and she avoided those problems profoundly and beautifully.) The Changeling is about a guilty young drunk named Pearl on an island with feral children. The prose is lushly stark and imaginative, the method magical, even demented. Feminism did not need a guilty drunk!
Williams has been the recipient of multiple fellowships and awards since. Her short stories have been featured in the Best American Series, and her 2000 novel, The Quick and The Dead, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. As always, this event is free and open to the public.