Harrow, by Joy Williams

Staff Pick

After a career spent calling people out on their mistreatment of nature, Williams could hardly be blamed if she threw up her hands now and left the species to its deadly folly. One senses despair written all over Harrow, which is set in a “post-catastrophic” world, dying because “we are dead to its astonishments,” yet also struggling—like bombed-out Phoenix—to rise anew from its ashes, but the novel doesn’t quite succumb. Challenging, even alienating—do we cheer on the elderly eco-activists with their pathetic plots, laugh at them? Both?— And what of the final, nearly Biblical, vision, as the ten-year-old judge, Jeffrey, a follower of Kafka, changes his name to Enoch (who was “taken from Earth…without passing through death”), finds and loses his beloved Green Galena ? Featuring William’s fierce language, incomparable sharp wit, searing satire, and even admirable characters, this fiction makes a powerful statement from the unprecedented pressures currently at work in the world.             


Harrow: A novel By Joy Williams Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525657569
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - September 14th, 2021