Williams’ creed, evidenced by her funny, fantastical stories, is this: The world is bizarre and random, and the way we make sense of coincidences is as meaningful as coincidences themselves ... Williams’ says more in a page-long scene than most can say in a chapter; it’s fitting, then, that her very short collection manages to encompass such an eternal theme with wit and grace.
Wry and playful, except for when densely allusive and willfully obtuse, Ninety-Nine Stories of God is a treasure trove of bafflements and tiny masterpieces ... Williams is a vociferous and despairing pantheist, more Spinoza than St. Francis (though she does love dogs). Her apocalyptic worldview often translates on the page to comedy, albeit of a brutal and comfortless sort.
Williams’s sense of comedy tends to undercut obvious 'seriousness.' Her fables start like fables but end, a few lines later, in abrupt self-mockery; they seem to bite their own tails ... Ninety-nine Stories of God is a slight book, provocatively so; the pieces vary in quality, and can seem like pressed keepsakes from a commonplace book. Still, they miniaturize the qualities found in Joy Williams’s celebrated short stories: concision, jumped connections, singular details, brutal humor.