Friday, September 9, 2016


One of my all-time favorite books, and an overlooked one I think, is THE FARMERS' DAUGHTERS: The Collected Stories of William Carlos Williams. These stories for my taste rank Williams, mostly known as a poet, among the great story writers of history, and with each passing decade they seem to me to stand out even more.

I'm rereading them for the first time in years, out loud to a friend in fact, and not only are we smiling and laughing and expressing surprise and delight in the stories' unfolding but equally in his choice of words and details, dialogue and story structure. In fact pure delight is the best description of our reactions.

Most of these stories were written in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s and they capture their times and places so perfectly you feel like you're back there with the characters, not only getting a taste of history but discovering how despite the differences in style and manners and speech, nothing about humanity is really new.

If you are a reader who likes a good short story, and admire the greats of that form, like Chechov or Sherwood Anderson, and you don't know this book, boy are you in for a treat.

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