I Hear You're Rich
I Hear You’re Rich
A new collection of stories from the 'godmother of flash fiction' (The Paris Review).
In Williams' stories, life is newly alive and dangerous; whether she is writing about an affair, a request for money, an afternoon in a garden, or the simple act of carrying a cake from one room to the next, she offers us beautiful and unsettling new ways of seeing everyday life.
In perfectly honed sentences, with a sly and occasionally wild wit, Williams shows us how any moment of any day can open onto disappointment, pleasure, and possibility.
Diane Williams, the ‘godmother of flash fiction’, returns with a stunning collection of stories that beguile and unsettle you with their realistic charms and tragedies.
In the first story ‘Oriel?’, a soon-to-be mother feels anxiety over what to name her child. ‘The Realist’ magnifies a husband’s fury at his wife’s gift to him. A woman forms a connection with birds through whistling in ‘The Tune’. In ‘Everything is Wonder’, a doting wife questions the actions of her cold and unaffectionate husband. A brother and sister reminisce over their childhood home in ‘Mother of Nature’. And in the eponymous ‘I Hear You’re Rich’, a woman longs to be a part of a family.
If this is your first time reading Williams’ work or you have not encountered much flash fiction before (or both, like myself), you may feel surprised and disrupted at first. But as you revisit them, you see how each story is a single brushstroke within the wider masterpiece. We are given nothing of the characters’ past and no clue of their future, only a brief glimpse into their present lives. Only at most a few pages long, or at the least one sentence, Williams has carved profoundly detailed and succinct tales exploring love, family, marriage, feeling trapped, and finding freedom.
While voyeuristic in nature, with each peek into these characters’ lives, there are elements of self that will resonate. What may at first appear random is then clarified by the depiction of the realisation of the collective hunger we as a species feel; an unsatiated yearning to find love, security, identity, and understanding.
When you hold a book written by Williams in your hand, you are not simply reading it. It is a continuous rebirth of experiences, each as bewildering, fresh, and exciting as the last one.
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- St Kilda
- State Library
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