“Maybe More People Should Have Writer’s Block.” In Which Joy Williams Responds to Our Questions Via Typewriter

The Author of Harrow Really Wanted to Try Out Her New Hermes 3000

Joy Williams’s new book, Harrow, is out today. When asked if she would answer a few questions in honor of its publication, she asked if she could send her answers to us by snail mail. She had recently bought a Hermes 3000 typewriter with seafoam-colored keys at a sale in New Mexico, and wanted to use it. Of course we said yes.


What do you always want to talk about in interviews but never get to?

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

Which non-literary piece of culture—film, tv show, painting, song—could you not imagine your life without?

What was the first book you fell in love with?


How do you tackle writer’s block?

Which books do you return to again and again?


Joy Williams, Harrow

Harrow, by Joy Williams, is available now from Knopf.

Joy Williams
Joy Williams
Joy Williams is the author of four previous novels–including The Quick and the Dead, a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize–and four collections of stories, as well as Ill Nature, a book of essays that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among her many honors are the Rea Award for the Short Story and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was elected to the Academy in 2008. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and Laramie, Wyoming. Her novel Harrow is out now.

More Story
Mary Roach on Finding What’s Weird and Wild in Science Stories Mary Roach began our conversation with an apology. Firefighters in northern California, a few hours away from her home, were...

Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.