It Was Like My Trying to Have a Tender-Hearted Nature (Paperback)

A Novella and Stories

By Diane Williams

Fiction Collective 2, 9781573661409, 146pp.

Publication Date: September 19, 2007

List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This work by Diane Williams delves into the strange relationships of men and women. From marital betrayal to spousal abuse and unrelenting desire, Williams illuminates the lives of her characters in prose as sparse and stark as it is beautiful. These stories are as short as prose poems and as complex as novels. In them, meanings remain ambiguous and consequences seem uncertain. In the novella “On Sexual Strength” she describes the intense and sometimes strange relationship between two neighboring couples and the rage that comes with adultery, and a narrator whose social inadequacies and lack of inhibitions lead to destruction.
The world Williams creates is a sensual place where quiet epiphanies—such as   the one that occurs after an extramarital affair— are also possible: “It was like
My Trying to Have a Tender-Hearted nature. This is how love can be featured.” Such flashes of insight and emotion glue together the fragments of life Williams lays before the reader, and the reader rejoices at the revelations.

About the Author

Diane Williams is the author of Romancer Erector Excitability, The Stupefaction,Some Sexual Success Stories Plus Other Stories in Which God Might Choose to Appear, and This Is About the Body, the Mind, the Soul, the World, Time, and Fate. She is the editor of the literary annual Noon.

Praise For It Was Like My Trying to Have a Tender-Hearted Nature: A Novella and Stories

“Diane Williams reminds me a little of Jane Bowles, a little of Laura Riding. She is one of the very few contemporary prose writers who seem to be doing
something independent, energetic, heartfelt.”
—Lydia Davis

"With the uproarious rudeness of a great mind, Diane Williams writes surprise after surprise, radically reinvented, indecorous and daring and downright funny
—Christine Schutt

“Diane Williams’s singular, unsettling genius has never been as memorably and heartrendingly evident as in this virtuosic new collection of richly gnomic
fictions that are, as always, sublimely vital in every line.”
—Gary Lutz