99 Puzzles to Solve

NinetyNineStoriesAboutGod Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Joy Williams returns with a lightning bolt collection of flash fiction. Each piece is numbered and named and explores the human connection and disconnection with God and the mysterious. This is devotional book for the intellectual, the searcher, and the brave.ninety-nine stories of God is fascinating, thought-provoking, amusing, and profound.

Whether God is in an animal’s fur we have carelessly stripped away or in a message from the universe for one who is grieving this book of stories and parables is in itself a meditation on belief and a journey into the mind of a writer and human who sees the world uniquely.

What I love most about William’s collection is that each story is something I am turning over and over in my mind like rocks in a tumbler, smoothing out the surface of the idea and yet wanting to continue to turn the crank to see what else I will find. As a new reader of Williams, I now want to read her previous works and the works that influenced her and the works she hates to understand her literary sensibilities.

Williams will be read forty years from now, as I am discovering her work forty years from when she started writing. The mark of a great.

Questions for Discussion:

Divide the book amongst your group. Have each member share what they thought the connection to the divine was in their group of stories.

What do you think the connection is between William’s conservative upbringing and this collection of stories?

What is your favorite story and why?

Which story was the most confusing and why? Did other members of the group feel the same way?

Interview for the Paris Review

More by Joy Williams:

The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories Cover Image The Quick and the Dead Cover Image Honored Guest Cover Image Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals Cover Image State of Grace Cover Image Taking Care Cover Image Breaking and Entering Cover Image


Published by

Christine Thomas Alderman

Christine Thomas Alderman is a writer and educator working in Texas. She holds a graduate degree from Harvard University. Her work was long-listed for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and included in their anthology: To Carry Her Home. She won the Cynthia Leitich Smith mentorship from the Austin Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Find her at www.christinethomasalderman.com

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