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In Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty, Diane Williams lays bare the urgency and weariness that shape our lives in stories honed sharper than ever. With sentences auguring revelation and explosion, Williams's unsettling stories-a cryptic meeting between neighbors, a woman's sexual worries, a graveside discussion, a chimney on fire-are narrated with razor-sharp tongues and naked, uproarious irreverence.

These fifty stories hum with tension, each one so taut that it threatens to snap and send the whole thing sprawling-the mess and desire, the absurdity and hilarity, the bruises and bleeding, the blushes and disappointments and secrets. An audacious, unruly tour de force, Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty cements Diane Williams' position as one of the best practitioners of the short form in literature today.

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