The writer trusts nothing she writes–it should be too reckless and alive for that, it should be beautiful and menacing and slightly out of control. . . . Good writing . . . explodes in the reader’s face. Whenever the writer writes, it’s always three or four or five o’clock in the morning in her head.

A writer starts out . . . wanting to be a transfiguring agent, and ends up usually just making contact, contact with other human beings. This, unsurprisingly, is not enough. . . . Writers end up writing stories–or rather, stories’ shadows–and they’re grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough.


Joy Williams