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review The Changeling × eBook or Kindle ePUB Forty years later The Changeling is no less haunting and no less visionary than the day it was published but it has only become clearer that Joy Williams is a virtuosic stylist and a singular thinker a genius in every sense of the word            When we first meet Pearl young in years but advanced in her drinking she’s on the lam sitting at a hotel bar in Florida throwing back gin and tonics with her infant son crad. Joy Williams has a cadence all her own In any given paragraph she will unexpectedly flip from the concrete to the metaphysical to the hallucinatory Her special finesse lies in being able to do this seamlessly writing in opposing epigrams without unduly straining her prose Later novels though specters of bleak reality hover in the periphery tend towards an absurd re wiring of the hyper mundane but this 1978 masterpiece drips instead with the occult the mythic the oneiric It is perhaps most arguably a horror novel though one of exemplary insight and finesse Buried upon release by a scathing New York Times review with sub headings like AN ARBITRARY MUDDLE it seems to have dropped into a void only to be revived by for reappraisal by the The Fairy Tale Review Press 30 years later But it s than a fairytale as well bursting with the potent ambiguous ambition that seems so to have rubbed the original 1978 review the wrong way Haunted and terrifying this is also an exceedingly rich book line by line Were it not so hopelessly out of print again I d love to keep one of these on hand to extract random fragments of insight whenever neededBuying and having things seemed like a way of knowing who one was One was an aggregate of interests and desires People received energy and solace from wanting things and getting them

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review The Changeling × eBook or Kindle ePUB Ror and triumph of both childhood and motherhood in a new light            With language that flits between exuberance and elegy the plainspoken and the poetic Joy Williams has blended as Rick Moody writes “the arresting improbabilities of magic realism with the surrealism of the folkloric revival and with the modernist foreboding of Under the Volcano” and created something entirely original and entirely consuming?. Feral children an irresponsible and post partum mother a kind of weird commune on an island that may have been started by a witch These are the things that typically make a great novel to me And with Joy Williams at the helm I was ready to be rocked dead by this book after all her The uick and the Dead is sincerely one of the best novels I ve ever read However something falls flat here for me which made the disappointment double like a shadow under a solar eclipseFrom the start I think the prose style here does disservice to the form and characters of this novel It s a sleepy fable style but without any of the mesmerism of wonderful fairy tales or surrealist unsettling There are surreal moments but they re eluded by lackadaisical or lackluster thoroughness Pearl s desires motivations interiority are never than a shade of a fog of a suggestion and that turns into a problem when it seems she has absolutely no agency and I m not convinced that there s larger meaning implied in that lack of agency other than that she s to serve as drunken observer to the goings on on the island There were moments and images in the book I enjoyed particularly striking were the moments when Pearl focuses on the animality of the feral children and of the overriding idea that her own child is a changeling a replacement put before her But there s nothing to pay off of hang onto in these momentsFinally the closing chapter a kind of free verse prose poem riffing on certain words and ideas in the novel is completely confounding and useless and not at all very interesting It reads like someone selecting predictive text words from their iPhone incoherent void of meaning except for the reader s ability to string the random order words together into some kind of patternThis sounds a lot worse than it is and I think that gets to the disappointment factor Williams s novel is whimsical and haunting and weird and surely the kind of thing I think people should be reading and could be reading but it s a pale shade to some of her other work

Joy Williams Ê 3 summary

review The Changeling × eBook or Kindle ePUB Led in the crook of her arm But her escape is brief and the relief she feels at having fled her abusive husband and the Northeastern island his family calls home doesn’t last for long Soon she’s being shepherded back The island for Pearl is a place of madness and pain and her round the clock drinking spurs on the former even if it dulls the latter And through this lens Pearl’s fragile consciousness readers encounter the hor. Was this a cult A commune Some sort of paedophile scheme An extreme postpartum reaction A drunken dream Did Sam die Was Pearl the grandmother Was she a ghost Did the first husband ever exist Was Thomas and Walker the same person What the hell

  • Hardcover
  • 201
  • The Changeling
  • Joy Williams
  • English
  • 16 September 2020
  • 9780385081542