On Joy Williams' 'Breaking and Entering,' with Conner Habib

Episode 107 · September 29th, 2021 · 1 hr 26 mins

About this Episode

Joy Williams' third novel, Breaking and Entering, is the story of lovers who break into strangers' homes and live their lives for a time before moving on. First published in 1988, it is a book impossible to describe, a work of singular vision and sensibilty that is as infectious in its weird effect as it is unforgettable for the quality of its prose.

In this episode, the novelist, spiritual thinker, and acclaimed podcaster Conner Habib joins JF and Phil to explore how the novel's enchantments rest on the uniqueness of Williams' style, which is to say, her bold embrace of ways of seeing that are hers alone. Williams is an artist who refuses to work from within some predetermined philosophical or political idiom. As Habib tells your hosts, she goes her own way, and even the gods must follow.

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Photo by Wolfgang Moroder via Wikimedia Commons


Conner Habib, "Joy Williams: The Best Fiction Writer Alive"

Joy Williams, Breaking and Entering
Joy Williams, The Quick and the Dead
The Paris Review, Interview with Joy Williams
Heraclitus, Fragments
Joy Williams, “Breakfast” in Taking Care
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
The Phantom Stranger, DC Comics character
James Joyce, Ulysses
Eugene Ionesco, Rhinoceros
Deleuze and Guatarri, What is Philosophy?
Quentin Meillassoux, French philosopher
David Mamet, On Directing Film
David Mamet, True and False
Nicholas Winding Refn (dir.), The Neon Demon
Joy Williams, “Congress”
Joy Williams, “Hawk”
Stephen Sexton, If All the World and Love Were Young
Scott Burnham, Mozart’s Grace