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The Wintering

A Novel

Voices of the South

384 pages / 5.50 x 8.50 inches / no illustrations

Fiction

  Paperback / 9780807122273 / September 1997

“Williams’ rich novel explores the bittersweet quality of reality and more than a touch of tragedy. Written with sensitivity and insight, it evokes both growing up and growing older, the need for communion and the failures and success that emerges in its pursuit.”—Publishers Weekly

Joan Williams’ third novel, a roman à clef about her relationship with William Faulkner, is the poignant and unusual story of the love between a world-famous writer and a young girl who comes to pay homage to him. Looking to novelist Jeffrey Almoner for advice and inspiration, inexperienced, naive Amy Howard writes him a letter full of all the pain and joy of her youth. Soon the two are meeting clandestinely, in bus stations and off Mississippi back roads, finding themselves drawn into an affair complicated by her awareness of the great difference in their ages and by his marriage. From Memphis’ grand Peabody Hotel to Greenwich Village and the publishing centers of Manhattan, The Wintering traces the arc of a love affair from its tentative beginnings to its inevitable, painful end with a grace and honesty that could only be delivered by one of the finest of American writers. 

Joan Williams is the author of five novels, including The Morning and the Evening, which won the John P. Marquand First Novel Award, and a collection of short stories. She is the recipient of a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

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