Kathryn Kulpa


Kathryn Kulpa is the author of Pleasant Drugs, a short story collection, and Who’s the Skirt?, a microfiction chapbook. She is flash fiction editor at Cleaver and has published work recently in Smokelong Quarterly, The Flexible Persona, Carbon Culture Review, and Litro.

NINETY-NINE STORIES OF GOD by Joy Williams reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa

NINETY-NINE STORIES OF GOD by Joy Williams Tin House Books, 151 pages reviewed by Kathryn Kulpa Joy Williams is an author whose work I sought out because once, in a review, someone compared me to her, and since I hadn’t heard of her before, it seemed like a good idea to read her. It was a happy discovery. Still, she was not an author I associated with flash fiction. Her dense, full short stories seemed more like novels writ small. Things change. In Ninety-Nine Stories of God, Williams has pared away all but the essentials. These very short prose pieces are novels written in miniature, pocket epics and cryptic parables etched on the head of a pin. Most are not more than two pages, some are a single paragraph, and a few are just one or two sentences: simple, even stark, yet weighted. The sixty-first story, “Museum,” for example, is one rueful sentence: “We were not interested the way we thought we would be interested.” Williams’s small stories, like the best flash, keep most of the iceberg under the water, leaving us with as many questions as answers. Each story ends, rather than begins, with a title, which often serves ...
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