Literary Birthday – 11 February – Joy Williams

Happy Birthday, Joy Williams, born 11 February 1944.


  1. Language accepts the writer as its host, it feeds off the writer, it makes him a husk. There is something uncanny about good writing — uncanny the singing that comes from certain husks.
  2. The good piece of writing startles the reader back into Life.
  3. Whenever the writer writes, it’s always three o’clock in the morning, it’s always three or four or five o’clock in the morning in his head. Those horrid hours are the writer’s days and nights when he is writing.
  4. Why does the writer write? The writer writes to serve — hopelessly he writes in the hope that he might serve — not himself and not others, but that great cold elemental grace which knows us.
  5. A writer starts out, I think, wanting to be a transfiguring agent, and ends up usually just making contact, contact with other human beings. This, unsurprisingly, is not enough…. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough.
  6. Nothing we do is inevitable, but everything we do is irreversible.

Source for writing quotes: Brainpickings

Read: Eight Essential Attributes Of The Short Story

Joy Williams is an American novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Her novels include The Quick and the Dead and State of Grace.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 10th February 2018