Excerpt

“Everything is Wonder”

Diane Williams

August 8, 2023 
The following is a story from Diane Williams' new collection I Hear You're Rich. Williams is the founder and editor of the distinguished literary annual, NOON, the archive of which, as well as Williams’ personal literary archive, was acquired in 2014 by the Lilly Library. She is the author of eleven volumes of short fiction. She lives in New York City.

These fruits produce ruddy light—are sound and smooth and tiny-sized and the woman thinks it is so thoughtful how they offer themselves up as a treat, as if they could, to a prosperous individual such as herself.

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On the other hand, her soup will spit on people and so it sits atop a paper towel.

Her husband had said, “No, not like that! First put this under it—” because the broth can spatter or slop when its lid is opened or shut.

The woman nearly kissed the little fruits before she ate them, but then she was choking on one of them while her husband never bothered to go to her side—even though she still has her youthful slenderness, her teeth and her hair, for all the good that’ll do her.

Nevertheless, she likes to cuddle her husband and to dote on him. And after unaided, she had quieted, he said, “How about that soup? I’m hungry.”

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Why doesn’t he ask her for the dessert that looks like pie and tastes like cake that’s next to the soup on the fridge shelf. It’s as beautiful as a daffodil and this is a really good pastry, well- behaved and dotted with cherries, and it has a tender texture.

There is an astonishing collection of edible wealth here and, in addition, the woman wears carved black onyx and gold earrings that are worth one thousand dollars.

It is sad to ask, please don’t ask—but what is the measure of this wife’s utility, character, desirability?

Why did I ask?

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From I Hear You’re Rich by Diane Williams. Used with permission of the publisher, Soho Press. Copyright © 2023 by Diane Williams.




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