An Evening with Joy Williams

Nov 5, 2021 | Events

Award-winning novelist Joy Williams will give a rare public reading and discuss her storied career at Elk River Books on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7 pm.

Dubbed a “misanthropic genius” by The New York Times, essayist, novelist and short story writer Williams has received many awards and honors, including the Harold and Mildred Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (of which she is a member), and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. She garnered a nomination for the National Book Award for her first novel, State of Grace, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her 2007 novel The Quick and the Dead (2000), until now the bookends of her fiction writing career.

Her latest novel, Harrow, explores the landscape of environmental apocalypse; it follows on the heels of her nonfiction collection, Ill Nature (itself a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism), which was described in the same Times article as “jeremiads — blunt and furious and uninterested in being even a bit reasonable.”

The Wall Street Journal calls Harrow, “A wonderfully goading satire.” A New York Times reviewer noted that, “If you blacked out Williams’s name on the cover and told me that Harrow was written by a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, I would probably have thought to myself, ‘A wild one has escaped the infirmary! I greet you, wild one, at the start of an interesting career. Please stop making me laugh while unspooling my intestines.’”

This event is being supported through a grant from the Park County Community Foundation. It will begin at 7 p.m., and will be followed by a book signing and reception.

In an effort to keep our community safe, masks will be required and vaccinations are strongly encouraged. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the door. While we appreciate your support, we ask that you stay home if you are not feeling well. In addition, we are suspending our wine service until the current local surge abates.

Elk River Arts & Lectures is a nonprofit organization with the mission of cultivating and celebrating the literary arts in Park County. For more information, call 333-2330 or visit