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Eley Williams Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Liar's Dictionary (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Attrib. and Other Stories (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Moderate to Poor, Occasionally Good (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

An Unreliable Guide to London(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
On Anxiety(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Egress(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
We Were Strangers(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
We'll Never Have Paris(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pursuit(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Resist(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The BBC National Short Story Award 2020(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Outsiders(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Praxis(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Reverse Engineering II(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Eley Williams is a British literary fiction novelist who is also a creative fiction writing lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London. She has been a lecturer at Royal Holloway ever since she was doing his doctorate there.
During her time there, she has held seminars and been a supervisor of undergraduate dissertations on topics that range from contemporary literature and short stories to the more provocative and tricksy prose poetry.

Williams has also worked with students on both literary nonfiction, fiction, and poetry pathways. She has also won several awards and was on Granta’s twenty significant British novelists under forty.

She published “The Liar’s Dictionary” her debut novel in 2020 and the work went on to achieve critical acclaim which The Guardian called a glorious novel full of charm.

Williams has also been an author of poetry, prose, short stories, and critical work, which has been featured in a range of publications including the Guardian, the TLS, and the London Review of Books.
She has also read and written work for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and frequently is a judge for literary awards for organizations such as the Royal Society of Literature, where she is also a fellow.

Growing up, Eley Williams was a lover of dictionaries and this was reflected in “Attrib, and Other Stories,” her acrobatic and dazzling acrobatic collection.

This was a collection that put forth words and wordplay with an irresistible enthusiasm. It was this novel that catapulted William and Influx her publisher onto much renown all across Europe.

It all goes back to her childhood when she remembers the huge collection of libraries that her family used to keep by the kitchen table. Back then, she used to go looking for words and it was easy to fall down a rabbit hole as she went from column to column.
Her interest in words and the dictionary continued throughout her school years and she even started writing a neologism dictionary in her teens, finding inspiration from “The Meaning of Liff” by John Lloyd and Douglas Adams.

Over time, her fascination with the idiosyncrasies of how people set out to codify and fix meaning continued to grow.

She found the concept to be sympathetic and humane and the fact that humans will always fall short but still continue to try to understand, and codify words and concepts.
Williams would then do a doctoral degree specializing in fictitious entries in dictionaries that would ultimately become “The Liar’s Dictionary” her debut novel.

Eley Williams still works full-time teaching and conducting research at Royal Holloway University.

In the past, she has focused on research on lexicography and literary hoaxes even as she has also been very interested in so-called writers and nonsense literature such as those by Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll.
She usually draws upon the works of such literary novelists to inform his sketches and drafts. As a lecturer, her favorite subjects that she loves to lecture on include the mountweazel phenomenon.

This is the name that experts give to fictitious entries that are found in encyclopedias and dictionaries. Looking to explore why such words appear in what are usually deemed trustworthy texts, she set out to write about that in her debut novel.
She also loves to riff upon its contexts and themes in lectures about intended audiences and authorship.

When Eley Williams is not working at Royal Holloway, she can often be found spending time with her wife and their two kids who include a five-month-old daughter and a toddler son.

Other things he likes include colored blocks, tambourines, and deducing the splashability and relative depths of puddles.

The Liar’s Dictionary by Eley Williams is a laugh-out-loud and exhilarating novel that follows the life and times of a crossed-in-love lexicographer from Victorian times.

It also follows the young woman who follows in his trail about 100 years later, seeking to look into his misdeeds, even as she confronts questions of her place in the world and her sexuality.
The lead in the novel is Victorian lexicographer Peter Winceworth who is working for Swansby’s Encyclopaedic Dictionary, where he is charged with everything to do with the letter “S.”

Given how much disaffection he feels, he has an intense desire to insert made-up fictitious entries in the dictionary, trying to assert a sense of artistic freedom and individual purpose.

In the present day, a young intern named Mallory is working with a publisher and has been charged with uncovering unauthorized fictitious entries in the dictionary before it is digitized.

She is also dealing with an anonymous caller who has been making all manner of threatening calls. Is the caller serious in damning her and her colleagues to hell and why is he so upset that she changed the definition of marriage.
Combining the two narratives, Mallory and Winceworth come to realize that they could work together to deal with the complexities of the often undefinable, nonsensical, hoax-strewn, relentless, and untrustworthy path called life.
It is a fascinating novel that celebrates the joy, rigidity, absurdity, and fragility of language.

Eley Williams’s novel “Attrib. And Other Stories” is supposed to be a celebration of how tricky language can be, It also focuses on how difficult it can sometimes be to communicate one’s true feelings and thoughts.
Most of the stories involve excerpts from the dictionary and reflections on the pronunciation and meanings of words, which are expertly written into the story.

This work also comes with a rhythm that seems ingenious and natural with no ambition or pretense whatsoever.

Many of the stories are written in a very familiar pattern. The first four stories begin with a plethora of information about seemingly random things that you can sometimes not understand what is happening.

Over the story, the author expands the scenes gradually and fills in and sorts background information that what initially seemed very bizarre turns out to be not so. Everything ultimately makes sense in very brilliant ways.
The rest of the stories are more regular works as they immediately set the scene, even as they fill in background information in small doses as the story develops.

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