Beautiful, cynical, full of joy and irreverence, this incredibly erudite, eclectic, collection of short stories looking at the many places the divinity ‘God’ is, could be or might be through the spectacles of people’s lives, encapsulates so very much of humanity without trying too hard because, without being overly obviously nor offering her point of view, Joy Williams captures the many unanswered, unknowns of the everyday person.
She has, in the 99 stories, collected snippets relating to such people as Dr Lucas Mix and his wife in conversation #50, when they found themselves in the wilds of Mexico instead of Laramie, with no understanding of how they got there, asking the question, why!
Franz Kafka joins in the conversation when he offers an insight into his writing and the fact that he often considered he was not at all human. In the final sentence in this piece, God offers an answer; of sorts. Conversation #23 looks at an old man at a wedding whom no one seemed to know; who is he, who was he – perhaps they should not have been so rude, as maybe, he may have been, could have been Jesus, ponders the Bride.
Each of the 99 conversations looks at very different issues; from a film director who wanted to make a ground breaking film about elephants, to daughters/sisters reflecting on the death of their mother and the beautiful poignancy of her final words, then to the NY Times talking about a flawed opinion, which ultimately adds up to the miniature of everyday life encapsulated into short, timeless, often to be repeated moments known and familiar to us all.
The final story ponders the imponderable and relates to the day the Lord visited a little known town in Maine, and the final question to be asked by us all, “What’s going to happen after I’m dead’?
A wonderful book to simply pick up and read a quick story or two in a quiet moment, which will allow you to do as the writer has possibly intended, take minute to reflect, to accept and to consider that perhaps God, the great divine one, really is there all the time, really is an intrinsic component of your life, regardless of how, why, where or even, when.
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|