- Pay the Piper, E.P. Dutton, 1988
- Pariah and Other Stories (short story collection), Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1983
- County Woman (1982)
- The Wintering (1971)
- Old Powder Man (1966)
- The Morning and the Evening Antheneum Publishers, (1961)
- Rain Later (short story) 1949
Joan Williams was born in 1928 in Memphis, Tennessee. Her family was from northwest Mississippi.
She spent one year studying at Southwestern, one at Chevy Chase Jr. College, and then graduated from Bard College in 1950. Her short story, Rain Later, written while a junior in college, won the Mademoiselle College Fiction Contest and was awarded Honorable Mention in Best American Short Stories, 1949.
After graduating college, she worked briefly in New Orleans before moving to New York to work at Look Magazine.
She had a five-year-long relationship/friendship with William Faulkner, whom she met in 1949. They exchanged many letters over the years. Their affair ended in 1953.
In 1954, she married Ezra Drinker Bowen. They had two sons: Ezra and Matthew.
Her novel, The Morning and Evening, was published in 1961. It was awarded the John P. Marquand First Novel Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Williams married John Fargason in 1970. They divorced in 1981.
Williams began a long-term relationship with Seymour Lawrence in 1984, which lasted until his death. She died in 2004.
- Tiger Lady: On Joan Williams by Lisa C. Hickman, 2011. Los Angeles Review of Books