Winner of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, selected by Al Young
Williams has a facility for getting inside characters and exposing their essential isolation and loneliness.
The protagonists of the 15 stories in Thorn, by Evan Morgan Williams, are a diverse cast: Native American, white, black, Asian; young and old; men, women; rich, poor. Yet Williams, who won the 2014 G.S. Charat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, with this debut collection, is able to inhabit his protagonists, as well as to empathize with them. This is no mean feat.
—Karen Uhlmann, The Common
Evan Morgan Williams’ stories are mysterious, profound, and sensual. His characters, naked in their yearning—way out there with the water and trees and sky—find new ways of loving in an old, old world. Thorn is a marvelous book.
—David Allan Cates
Ben Armstrong’s Strange Trip Home
X out of Wonderland
These stories have a beautiful sadness. Whether they are about whites, blacks, or Indians, men or women, young or old, they evince feelings that reveal the colliding of cultures, the wistfulness of various perceptions, and the longing in every human soul. Williams is a master at making small details into major elements and capturing the spirits of his characters with perfect dialogue. Whether about buying whale bones, traveling to pick up a man about to be released from jail, or collecting rocks on the beach, these stories are really about life’s deeper and mysterious elements. Williams opens us to the discord his characters live with and makes us understand what life on the edge means. Thorn is a superb collection.
The Spirit Bird, winner of the Drue Heinz Prize
Evan Williams' debut collection of stories, Thorn, is a startling gift with its revelations about the people who inhabit the periphery of society’s vision. Whether it is woman cleaning the bones of a whale, or a mother in search of a lost word in a lost language, Williams brings remarkable insight into their lives and in doing so deepens our understanding of what it means to be counted among the few.
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