Nominated for the National Book Award in 1974, this haunting, profoundly disquieting novel manages to be at once sparse and lush, to combine Biblical simplicity with Gothic intensity and strangeness. It is the story of Kate, despised by her mother, bound to her father by ties stronger and darker than blood. It is the story of her attempted escapes−in detached sexual encounters, at a Southern college populated by spoiled and perverse beauties, and in a doomed marriage to a man who cannot understand what she is running from. Witty, erotic, searing acute, STATE OF GRACE bears the inimitable stamp of one of our fines and most provocative writers.
Joy Williams is the author of four novels–the most recent, The Quick and the Dead, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001–and two earlier collections of stories, as well as Ill Nature, a book of essays that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Among her many honors are the Rea Award for the short story and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Key West, Florida, and Tucson, Arizona.
Joy Williams’s Ill Nature, The Quick and the Dead,State of Grace, and Taking Care are available in Vintage paperback.