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The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy, providing a look at the darker side of our society by one of our most enduringly popular and important writers
Night Sleep Death The Stars is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.
Stark and penetrating, Joyce Carol Oates’s latest novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief, and eventual healing, as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author’s bestselling We Were the Mulvaneys.
Unlike anything Joyce Carol Oates has written before, A Widow’s Story is the universally acclaimed author’s poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of Raymond Smith, her husband of forty-six years, and its wrenching, surprising aftermath. A recent recipient of National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, Oates, whose novels (Blonde, The Gravedigger’s Daughter, Little Bird of Heaven, etc.) rank among the very finest in contemporary American fiction, offers an achingly personal story of love and loss. A Widow’s Story is a literary memoir on a par with The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and Calvin Trillin’s About Alice.
Four brand-new novellas by the #1 New York Times-bestselling, National Book Award-winning “grand mistress of ghoulishness” (Publishers Weekly).
An academic in Pennsylvania discovers a terrifying trauma from her past after inheriting a house in Cardiff, Maine from someone she has never heard of. A pubescent girl, overcome with loneliness, befriends a feral cat that becomes her protector from the increasingly aggressive males that surround her. A brilliant but shy college sophomore is distraught to discover that she’s pregnant, and the professor who takes her under his wing may not have innocent intentions. And a woman who marries into a family shattered by tragedy finds herself haunted by her predecessor’s voice, an inexplicably befouled well, and a compulsive attraction to a garage that took two lives.In these psychologically daring, chillingly suspenseful pieces, the author of We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde writes about women facing threats past and present, once again cementing her reputation for “great intelligence and dead-on imaginative powers” (Los Angeles Times Book Review).
“A painful truth of family life: the most tender emotions can change in an instant. You think your parents love you but is it you they love, or the child who is theirs?” --Joyce Carol Oates, My Life as a Rat
Which should prevail: loyalty to family or loyalty to the truth? Is telling the truth ever a mistake and is lying for one’s family ever justified? Can one do the right thing, but bitterly regret it?
My Life as a Rat follows Violet Rue Kerrigan, a young woman who looks back upon her life in exile from her family following her testimony, at age twelve, concerning what she knew to be the racist murder of an African-American boy by her older brothers. In a succession of vividly recalled episodes Violet contemplates the circumstances of her life as the initially beloved youngest child of seven Kerrigan children who inadvertently “informs” on her brothers, setting into motion their arrests and convictions and her own long estrangement.
Arresting and poignant, My Life as a Rat traces a life of banishment from a family—banishment from parents, siblings, and the Church—that forces Violet to discover her own identity, to break the powerful spell of family, and to emerge from her long exile as a “rat” into a transformed life.
A New York Times Notable Book
The Mulvaneys are blessed by all that makes life sweet. But something happens on Valentine’s Day, 1976—an incident that is hushed up in the town and never spoken of in the Mulvaney home—that rends the fabric of their family life...with tragic consequences. Years later, the youngest son attempts to piece together the fragments of the Mulvaneys’ former glory, seeking to uncover and understand the secret violation that brought about the family’s tragic downfall.
Profoundly cathartic, this extraordinary novel unfolds as if Oates, in plumbing the darkness of the human spirit, has come upon a source of light at its core. Moving away from the dark tone of her more recent masterpieces, Joyce Carol Oates turns the tale of a family struggling to cope with its fall from grace into a deeply moving and unforgettable account of the vigor of hope and the power of love to prevail over suffering.
“It’s the novel closest to my heart....I’m deeply moved that Oprah Winfrey has selected this novel for Oprah’s Book Club, a family novel presented to Oprah’s vast American family.”—Joyce Carol Oates
No other writer can match the impressive oeuvre of Joyce Carol Oates. High Lonesome: New and Selected Stories 1966-2006 gathers short fiction from the acclaimed author's seminal collections and includes eleven new tales that further demonstrate the breathtaking artistry and striking originality of an incomparable talent who "has imbued the American short story with an edgy vitality and raw social surfaces" (Chicago Tribune).
Less than twenty-four hours after exchanging vows with her new husband, Willem, Abby steps out into traffic. As his wife lies in her hospital bed, sleeping in fits and starts, Willem tries to determine whether this was an absentminded accident or a premeditated plunge, and he quickly discovers a mysterious set of clues about what his wife might be hiding. Why, for example is there a rash-like red mark circling her wrist? What does she dream about that causes her to wake from the sound of her own screams?
Slowly, Abby begins to open up to her husband, revealing to him what she has never shared with anyone before—a story of a terrified mother; a jealous, drug-addled father; a daughter’s terrifying captivity; and the demons behind her terrible recurring dreams of wandering through a field ridden with human skulls and bones…
From a recipient of a National Book Award and three Bram Stoker Awards, this suspenseful, twisting tale, named one of the scariest books of the year by Kirkus Reviews, is a “fast-paced examination of the destructive and restorative nature of obsessive love” (Booklist).
Joyce Carol Oates’s Wonderland Quartet comprises four remarkable novels that explore social class in America and the inner lives of young Americans. In A Garden of Earthly Delights, Oates presents one of her most memorable heroines, Clara Walpole, the beautiful daughter of Kentucky-born migrant farmworkers. Desperate to rise above her haphazard existence of violence and poverty, determined not to repeat her mother’s life, Clara struggles for independence by way of her relationships with four very different men: her father, a family man turned itinerant laborer, smoldering with resentment; the mysterious Lowry, who rescues Clara as a teenager and offers her the possibility of love; Revere, a wealthy landowner who provides Clara with stability; and Swan, Clara’s son, who bears the psychological and spiritual burden of his mother’s ambition.
A Garden of Earthly Delights is the first novel in the Wonderland Quartet. The books that complete this acclaimed series, Expensive People, them, and Wonderland, are also available from the Modern Library.
An astonishing collection of all-new tales by some of the most acclaimed writers at work today. Edited by Neil Gaiman (Sandman, The Graveyard Book, Anansi Boys, Coraline) and award-winning author Al Sarrantonio, Stories presents never before published short works from a veritable Who’s Who of contemporary literature—breathtaking inventions from the likes of Lawrence Block, Roddy Doyle, Joanne Harris, Joe Hill, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Stewart O’Nan, Chuck Palahniuk, Carolyn Parkhurst, Jodi Picoult, Peter Straub…and, of course, the inimitable Neil Gaiman himself.
"The joy of fiction is the joy of the imagination. . . ."
The best stories pull readers in and keep them turning the pages, eager to discover more—to find the answer to the question: "And then what happened?" The true hallmark of great literature is great imagination, and as Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio prove with this outstanding collection, when it comes to great fiction, all genres are equal.
Joe Hill boldly aligns theme and form in his disturbing tale of a man's descent into evil in "Devil on the Staircase." In "Catch and Release," Lawrence Block tells of a seasoned fisherman with a talent for catching a bite of another sort. Carolyn Parkhurst adds a dark twist to sibling rivalry in "Unwell." Joanne Harris weaves a tale of ancient gods in modern New York in "Wildfire in Manhattan." Vengeance is the heart of Richard Adams's "The Knife." Jeffery Deaver introduces a dedicated psychologist whose mission in life is to save people in "The Therapist." A chilling punishment befitting an unspeakable crime is at the dark heart of Neil Gaiman's novelette "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains."
As it transforms your view of the world, this brilliant and visionary volume—sure to become a classic—will ignite a new appreciation for the limitless realm of exceptional fiction.
Zombie is a classic novel of dark obsession from the extraordinary Joyce Carol Oates. A brilliant, unflinching journey into the mind of a serial killer, Zombie views the world through the eyes of Quentin P., newly paroled sex offender, as he chillingly evolves from rapist to mass murderer. Joyce Carol Oates—the prolific author of so many extraordinary bestsellers, including The Gravediggers Daughter, Blonde, and The Falls—demonstrates why she ranks among America’s most respected and accomplished literary artists with this provocative, breathtaking, and disturbing masterwork.
La última novela de la gran escritora americana de nuestros días.
Una historia vigorosa sobre la familia, sus expectativas y la ineludible necesidad de romper con ella.
«La violencia del mundo de Oates es excesiva porque se parece mucho a la nuestra.»
The New York Times
«Una adelantada a su tiempo y una suerte de baluarte moral contra la intolerancia y el miedo.»
Nuria Azancot, El Cultural
¿Qué debería prevalecer: la lealtad familiar o la lealtad a la verdad? ¿Alguna vez es un error decir la verdad, hay algún momento en que mentir a la familia esté justificado? ¿Se puede hacer lo correcto y que toda la vida nos lamentemos por ello?
Delatora está protagonizada por Violet Rue Kerrigan, una joven que recuerda su vida después deque, con doce años, ofreciera su testimonio sobre el asesinato racista de un niño afroamericano por parte de sus hermanos mayores y la apartasen de su familia. En una sucesión de episodios recordados de un modo casi palpable, Violet analiza las circunstancias de su vida como la menor de siete hermanos, una niña en su momento querida, que inadvertidamente «delata» a sus hermanos, dando pie a su arresto, su condena y a su propio distanciamiento.
Esta conmovedora novela dibuja una vida de destierro —destierro respecto a los padres, a los hermanos, a la Iglesia— que obliga a Violet a reconstruir su propia identidad, romper el poderoso embrujo de la familia. Un largo exilio como «delatora» para llegar a una vida transformada.
La crítica ha dicho...
«Oates es grande como escritora no solo por su calidad literaria, sino por la complejidad de los temas. Nadie como ella ha sabido ir tantas veces al pozo de la sociedad estadounidense, de donde se nutren sus historias, y extraer en cada ocasión un agua singular y distinta y siempre arraigada en el gran caleidoscopio que es el mundo americano.»
Francisco Recio, La Opinión de Málaga
«Entre los narradores contemporáneos estadounidenses [...], Oates es quien más claramente posee lo que Henry James llamaba “la imaginación para el desastre”, una facultad o fragilidad que confiere muy a menudo a sus personajes.»
Leo Robson, The New Yorker
«La escritura de Oates siempre ha parecido sencilla: urgente, temeraria, torrencial. Escribe como una mujer que se adentra en una región salvaje sin mirar atrás.»
The New York Times Book Review
«La prosa de Oates contiene una profunda crueldad que se cierne entre la esperanza, la desesperación y el amor.»
«Una maestra del diálogo afilado y de las descripciones vibrantes, Oates sigue siendo poderosamente fascinante.»
«Novelistas como John Updike, Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe y Norman Mailer han luchado a brazo partido por el título de Gran Novelista Americano. Pero quizás se equivocan.