Redux: Celebrating Joy



Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Redux newsletter.



At our Spring Revel this year, we will present Joy Williams with the Hadada, our lifetime-achievement award. To celebrate, we’re unlocking her Art of Fiction interview; “The Retreat,” her first story published in the Review; and her beloved story “Marabou.”

And don’t forget, the Spring Revel will be held on Tuesday, April 3. Purchasing a ticket helps support The Paris Review Foundation and our mission to publish great writing.


Joy Williams, The Art of Fiction No. 223
Issue no. 209 (Summer 2014)

“What a story is, is devious. It pretends transparency, forthrightness. It engages with ordinary people, ordinary matters, recognizable stuff. But this is all a masquerade. What good stories deal with is the horror and incomprehensibility of time, the dark encroachment of old catastrophes.” 



The Retreat
By Joy Williams
Issue no. 44 (Fall 1968)

“The shark rose again, rolling, trussing itself in line. When it came close enough for her to see the remoras clustered on its belly, the girl fired again. The water hissed as though the shark’s blood were flame, and two frigate birds drifted out from a distant tree.”


Lake Marabou Stork Boats Lake Albert Uganda Africa


By Joy Williams
Issue no. 126 (Spring 1993)

“The next day Harry had distinguished himself further by exclaiming over a marabou stork, and someone in the group told him that marabous were gruesome things, scavengers, ‘morbidity distilled’ in the words of this fussy little person, and certainly nothing to get excited about when there were hundreds of beautiful and strange creatures in Africa that one could enjoy and identify and point out to the others.”


If you like what you read, why not become a subscriber? You’ll get instant access to our entire sixty-five-year archive, not to mention four issues of new interviews, poetry, and fiction.