Attrib. and Other Stories (Paperback)
A dazzling, prizewinning short story collection that showcases a bold new talent
"Williams delights not simply in wordplay but also in people who are alive to the poignant and humorous potential of language." —The New Yorker
"It's just the real inexplicable gorgeous brilliant thing this book. I love it in a way I usually reserve for people." —Max Porter
Eley Williams has been a literary sensation ever since this collection of experimental short fiction was published in the UK. Lauded as "elegant" (The Guardian) and "exhilarating" (Vanity Fair), Attrib. and Other Stories won the James Tait Black Prize, was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, and was named a best book of the year by The Guardian.
Attrib. presents a cast of unforgettable characters standing at the precipice of emotional events (a disastrous breakup, a successful date, an unexpected arrival) and finding it fiendishly impossible to express themselves. With intimate, irreverent, and playful prose, Eley Williams rejoices in both the possibilities and limitations of language, as well as the very human need to be known and understood--despite our own best efforts.
Original and inventive in the vein of Lydia Davis, Deborah Eisenberg, and Amy Hempel, these stories are "emotionally delicate and tenderly introspective" (New Statesman) and "an absolute must-read" (The London Magazine).
About the Author
ELEY WILLIAMS is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is the author of The Liar's Dictionary, and her work has appeared in The Penguin Book of the Contemporary British Short Story, Liberating the Canon, The Times Literary Supplement, and London Review of Books. She lives in London.
"Mischief runs through this story collection, evident from the first line...Revelling in playful language and eschewing narrative convention, the stories feature encounters—with a lover, an art work, the natural world—that are endlessly teased out in protagonists’ hyperverbal minds...Williams delights not simply in wordplay but also in people who are alive to the poignant and humorous potential of language."
—The New Yorker
"She is a writer for whom one struggles to find comparison, because she has arrived in a class of her own: witty, melancholy, occasionally sensual, occasionally mordant, elegantly droll without the kind of hipster quirkiness that makes me want to hurl books at the wall. She has in common with George Saunders the ability to be both playful and profound, and we are lucky to have her."
—Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent
"It's just the real inexplicable gorgeous brilliant thing this book. I love it in a way I usually reserve for people."
—Max Porter, author of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
"A jewel box...A work of linguistic exuberance and lyrical meandering."
"Williams explores pathos and the dictionary with aplomb and a fresh voice. Anglophiles and linguistic schemers will savor this."
"This whimsical, intricate collection of 16 short stories explores the beauty and limitations of language, the triumphs and failures of communication, with brilliant, irreverent prose."
"Think William Gass, Lydia Davis or Anne Carson, and you won't be too wrong."
—London Review of Books
"An emotionally delicate and tenderly introspective collection."
"An absolute must-read for anyone remotely interested in the contemporary short story."
—The London Magazine