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About Joyce Carol Oates
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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).
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.
In the title story of her taut new fiction collection, Joyce Carol Oates writes: Life was not of the surface like the glossy skin of an apple, but deep inside the fruit where seeds are harbored. There is no writer more capable of picking out those seeds and exposing all their secret tastes and poisons than Oates herself—as demonstrated in these six stories.
One tale opens with a woman, naked except for her high-heeled shoes, seated in front of the window in an apartment she cannot, on her own, afford. In this exquisitely tense narrative reimagining of Edward Hopper’s Eleven A.M., 1926, the reader enters the minds of both the woman and her married lover, each consumed by alternating thoughts of disgust and arousal, as he rushes, amorously, murderously, to her door.
In “The Long-Legged Girl,” an aging, jealous wife crafts an unusual game of Russian roulette involving a pair of Wedgwood teacups, a strong Bengal brew, and a lethal concoction of medicine. Who will drink from the wrong cup, the wife or the dance student she believes to be her husband’s latest conquest?
In “The Sign of the Beast,” when a former Sunday school teacher’s corpse turns up, the blighted adolescent she had by turns petted and ridiculed confesses to her murder—but is he really responsible? And another young outsider, Horace Phineas Love, Jr., is haunted by apparitions at the very edge of the spectrum of visibility after the death of his tortured father in “Night-Gaunts,” a fantastic ode to H.P. Lovecraft.
“Consummately well-written, stylistically dashing...forthrightly nightmarish.”―Kirkus Reviews
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
A new collection of dark, chilling tales from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author
From literary icon Joyce Carol Oates comes a brand new collection of haunting and, at times, darkly humorous mystery & suspense stories. These are tales of psyches pushed to their limits by the expectations of everyday life—from a woman who gets lost on her drive home to her plush suburban home and ends up breaking into a stranger’s house, to a first-person account of a cloned 1940s magazine pinup girl being sold at auction and embodying America’s ideals of beauty and womanhood.
Taken as a whole, the collection forms a poignant tapestry of regular people searching for their place in a social hierarchy, often with devastating and disastrous results. Rendered with stylish, fresh writing from an author who continues to push the envelope, the stories deftly weave in and out of a stream-of-consciousness to reflect the ways we process traumatic experiences and impart that uncertainty and uneasiness to the reader.
Originally appearing in publications as disparate as Harper’s, Vice, and Conjunctions, the stories comprising Night, Neon showcase Oates’ mastery of the suspense story—and her relentless use of the form to conduct unapologetically honest explorations of American identity.
“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.
The National Book Award winning author of Blonde demonstrates her mastery of contemporary gothic horror in these 10 chilling short stories.
The need for love—obsessive, self-destructive, unpredictable—can take us to forbidden places, as Joyce Carol Oates demonstrates with fearsome clarity in this short story collection. In “Strip Poker,” a reckless adolescent girl must find a way of turning the tables on a gathering of increasingly threatening young men. In the award-winning “Smother!” a young woman’s nightmare memory of childhood brings trouble on her professor-mother. In “The First Husband,” a jealous man discovers that his wife seems to have lied about her first marriage—and waits years before exacting a cruel revenge.In these and other powerful tales, children veer beyond their parents’ control, wives and husbands wake up to find that they hardly know each other, haunted pasts intrude upon uncertain futures, and those who bring us the most harm may be the nearest at hand.
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).
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).
La epopeya de una mujer que debe reinventarse a sí misma. Una odisea erótica y turbulenta, intensamente provocadora y emotiva.
En 1936, los Schwart, una familia de inmigrantes desesperada por escapar de la Alemania nazi, se instala en una pequeña ciudad de Estados Unidos. El padre, un profesor de instituto, es rebajado al único trabajo al que tiene acceso: sepulturero y vigilante de cementerio. Los prejuicios locales y la debilidad emocional de los Schwart suscitan una terrible tragedia familiar. Rebecca, la hija del sepulturero, comienza entonces su sorprendente peregrinación por la «América profunda», una odisea de riesgo erótico e intrépida imaginación que la obligará a reinventarse a sí misma.
Joyce Carol Oates ha creado una pieza magistral de realismo mítico y doméstico, excepcionalmente emotiva y provocadora: un testimonio íntimo de la resistencia del individuo. En esta novela prodigiosa la violencia actúa como un faroiluminando una cultura y una época.
** Premio Ja! Bilbao por el «modernísimo humor negro» de su obra.
La crítica ha dicho:
«Novelistas como John Updike, Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe y Norman Mailer compiten por el título de Gran Novelista Americano. Pero quizás ellos se equivocan. Tal vez la Gran Novelista Americana es una mujer.»
«Una escritora de una extraordinaria fuerza... Ha tratado con una admirable consistencia el gran tema americano: la búsqueda de la propia identidad.»
«Oates evoluciona sin descanso como artista, explorando continuamente nuevos aspectos de la vida americana... La literatura es para ella un único género en el que trabaja con total inventiva, adaptando temas clásicos, homenajeando a grandes maestros, escribiendo en diversos estilos y formas, siempre fiel a su propia e intensa imaginación. Sólo nos queda rendirnos ante la todopoderosa fuerza de las virtudes de Joyce CarolOates.»
The New York Review of Books
«Su incomparable prosa y su habilidad para mover a la reflexión a medida que va reinventando nuevos géneros son únicas... Pocos escritores son capaces de contar una historia con tanta convicción y entretenimiento.»
Scotland on Sunday
«Leer a Oates es como transitar por un campo de minas emocional, para volver a la tranquilidad y sacudir la cabeza ante tamañas lucidez y revelación.»
The Washington Post Book World
Fascinated by yet alienated from his attractive, self-absorbed parents and the privileged world they inhabit, Richard incisively analyzes his own mismanaged childhood, his pretentious private schooling, his “successful-executive” father, and his elusive mother. In an act of defiance and desperation, eleven-year-old Richard strikes out in a way that presages the violence of ever-younger Americans in the turbulent decades to come.
A National Book Award finalist, Expensive People is a stunning combination of social satire and gothic horror. “You cannot put this novel away after you have opened it,” said The Detroit News. “This is that kind of book–hypnotic, fascinating, and electrifying.”
Expensive People is the second novel in the Wonderland Quartet. The books that complete this acclaimed series, A Garden of Earthly Delights, them, and Wonderland, are also available from the Modern Library.