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From the legendary literary master, winner of the National Book Award and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates, a collection of thirteen spellbinding stories that maps the eerie darkness within us allInsightful, disturbing, and mesmerizing in their lyrical precision, the stories in Lovely, Dark, Deep display Joyce Carol Oates's astonishing ability to make visceral the fear, hurt, and uncertainty that lurks at the edges of ordinary lives.In "Mastiff," a woman and a man are joined in an erotic bond forged out of terror and gratitude. "Sex with Camel" explores how a sixteen-year-old boy realizes the depth of his love for his grandmother--and how vulnerable those feelings make him. Fearful that her husband is vanishing from their life, a woman becomes obsessed with keeping him in her sight in "The Disappearing." "A Book of Martyrs" reveals how the end of a pregnancy brings with it the end of a relationship. And in the title story, the elderly Robert Frost is visited by an interviewer, a troubling young woman who seems to know a good deal more about his life than she should.A piercing and evocative collection, Lovely, Dark, Deep reveals Joyce Carol Oates at her most imaginative and unsettling.
Fresh from the triumph of "We Were the Mulvaneys", Oates continues her exploration of family love and the possibilities of human redemption with this compelling story of how one young woman suffers profoundly in the pursuit of love, but manages to emerge safe and whole.
Marya's early days of poverty, her life as an abandoned child raised by an aunt and uncle, through hard-won college success and an academic career. Marya's development and her fears and insecurities are revealed in a very autobiographical manner.
In Salthill-on-Hudson, a half-hour train ride from Manhattan, everyone is rich, beautiful, and -- though they look much younger -- middle-aged. But when Adam Berendt, a charismatic, mysterious sculptor, dies suddenly in a brash act of heroism, shock waves rock the town. But who was Adam Berendt? Was he in fact a hero, or someone more flawed and human?
Nikki Eaton, single, thirty-one, sexually liberated, and economically self-supporting, has never particularly thought of herself as a daughter. Yet, following the unexpected loss of her mother, she undergoes a remarkable transformation during a tumultuous year that brings stunning horror, sorrow, illumination, wisdom, and even—from an unexpected source—a nurturing love.
A riveting novel that explores the high price of success in the life of one woman--the first female president of a lauded ivy league institution--and her hold upon her self-identity in the face of personal and professional demons, from Joyce Carol Oates, author of the New York Times bestseller A Widow's Story. Mudgirl is a child abandoned by her mother in the silty flats of the Black Snake River. Cast aside, Mudgirl survives by an accident of fate-or destiny. After her rescue, the well-meaning couple who adopt Mudgirl quarantine her poisonous history behind the barrier of their middle-class values, seemingly sealing it off forever. But the bulwark of the present proves surprisingly vulnerable to the agents of the past. Meredith "M.R." Neukirchen is the first woman president of an Ivy League university. Her commitment to her career and moral fervor for her role are all-consuming. Involved with a secret lover whose feelings for her are teasingly undefined, and concerned with the intensifying crisis of the American political climate as the United States edges toward war with Iraq, M.R. is confronted with challenges to her leadership that test her in ways she could not have anticipated. The fierce idealism and intelligence that delivered her from a more conventional life in her upstate New York hometown now threaten to undo her. A reckless trip upstate thrusts M.R. Neukirchen into an unexpected psychic collision with Mudgirl and the life M.R. believes she has left behind. A powerful exploration of the enduring claims of the past, Mudwoman is at once a psychic ghost story and an intimate portrait of a woman cracking the glass ceiling at enormous personal cost, which explores the tension between childhood and adulthood, the real and the imagined, and the "public" and "private" in the life of a highly complex contemporary woman.
Finally returned to print in a beautiful paperback edition, a haunting gothic tale of a nineteenth-century immigrant family of confidence artists--a story of morality, duplicity, and retribution that explores the depths of human manipulation and vulnerabilityThe patriarch of the Licht family, Abraham has raised a brood of talented con artists, children molded in his image, and experts in The Game, his calling and philosophy of life. Traveling from one small town to the next across the continent, from the Northeast to the frontier West, they skillfully swindle unsuspecting victims, playing on their greed, lust, pride, and small-mindedness. Despite their success, Abraham cannot banish a past that haunts him: the ghost of his ancestor Sarah Licht, a former con woman who met with a gruesome fate.As Abraham involves his family in more and more complex and impressive schemes, he finds himself caught between the specter of Sarah and the growing terrors of his present. While his carefully crafted lies and schemes begin to fracture and disintegrate before his eyes, Abraham discovers that the bond of family is as tenuous and treacherous as the tricks he perpetrates upon unsuspecting strangers.
New York Times bestselling author of The Falls, Blonde, and We Were the Mulvaneys, Joyce Carol Oates returns with a dark, wry, satirical tale--inspired by an unsolved American true-crime mystery."Dysfunctional families are all alike. Ditto 'survivors.'"So begins the unexpurgated first-person narrative of nineteen-year-old Skyler Rampike, the only surviving child of an "infamous" American family. A decade ago the Rampikes were destroyed by the murder of Skyler's six-year-old ice-skating champion sister, Bliss, and the media scrutiny that followed. Part investigation into the unsolved murder; part elegy for the lost Bliss and for Skyler's own lost childhood; and part corrosively funny exposé of the pretensions of upper-middle-class American suburbia, this captivating novel explores with unexpected sympathy and subtlety the intimate lives of those who dwell in Tabloid Hell.Likely to be Joyce Carol Oates's most controversial novel to date, as well as her most boldly satirical, this unconventional work of fiction is sure to be recognized as a classic exploration of the tragic interface between private life and the perilous life of "celebrity." In My Sister, My Love: The Intimate Story of Skyler Rampike, the incomparable Oates once again mines the depths of the sinister yet comic malaise at the heart of our contemporary culture.
the brilliant young detective-hero Xavier Kilgarvan is confronted with three baffling cases---"The Virgin in the Rose-Bower," "The Devil's Half-Acre," and "The Blood-Stained Gown"---that tax his genius for detection to the utmost, just as his forbidden passion for his cousin Perdita becomes an obsession that shapes his life.
Have you ever wanted something so badly you would kill for it? Identified only by the hastily--and clumsily--chosen alias Charles Brockden, the narrator of this story finds a bookstore that instantly piques his desire. He must call it his own; he must add it to his already-extensive collection of bookstores. But surely the owner of such a fine shop wouldn't easily part with it. Brockden forms a plan to acquire the store in such a way that no one would ever suspect foul play: untraceable murder. And he knows he will be successful--because he has done it before.
"Oates's introduction to Akashic's noir volume dedicated to the Garden State, with its evocative definition of the genre, is alone worth the price of the book . . . Poems by C.K. Williams, Paul Muldoon, and others--plus photos by Gerald Slota--enhance this distinguished entry."--Publishers Weekly"It was inevitable that this fine noir series would reach New Jersey. It took longer than some readers might have wanted, but, oh boy, was it worth the wait . . . More than most of the entries in the series, this volume is about mood and atmosphere more than it is about plot and character . . . It should go without saying that regular readers of the noir series will seek this one out, but beyond that, the book also serves as a very good introduction to what is a popular but often misunderstood term and style of writing."--Booklist, Starred Review"A lovingly collected assortment of tales and poems that range from the disturbing to the darkly humorous."--Shelf AwarenessFeaturing brand-new stories (and a few poems) by: Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Safran Foer, Robert Pinsky, Edmund White & Michael Carroll, Richard Burgin, Paul Muldoon, Sheila Kohler, C.K. Williams, Gerald Stern, Lou Manfredo, S.A. Solomon, Bradford Morrow, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffrey Ford, S.J. Rozan, Barry N. Malzberg & Bill Pronzini, Hirsh Sawhney, and Robert Arellano.From the introduction by Joyce Carol Oates:". . . The most civilized and 'decent' among us find that we are complicit with the most brutal murderers. We enter into literally unspeakable alliances--of which we dare not speak except through the obliquities and indirections of fiction, poetry, and visual art of the sort gathered here in New Jersey Noir."
Dozens of short stories selected by Oates for those people suffering from insomnia.
A reissue of bestselling, award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates' classic collection of essays on boxing.
Roland Marks is a Nobel Prize winning novelist with a penchant for younger women and four marriages behind him. Lou-Lou Marks, his grown daughter, is a successful academic in her own right. But her real career lies in attending to her father. An egomaniacal and emotionally manipulative man, he demands of her absolute filial loyalty and an uncompromising acquiescence to his every need--her only reward is his approval, which she feels she never fully receives, but desperately desires. When Roland falls in love with a woman fifty years his junior, Lou-Lou senses the precarious decline of her power. Intent on preventing Roland from marrying for a fifth time and signing away his estate--and her inheritance--the relationship takes a darkly comical turn. Astute, insightful, and mordantly hilarious, Patricide is Joyce Carol Oates at her best.
"A remarkable anthology of stories written by inmates of correctional institutions across America...Most importantly, this landmark volume amplifies the voices of the incarcerated."--Publishers Weekly, Starred reviewIncluded in Publishers Weekly's Fall Preview (Mysteries & Thrillers)"Affecting, powerfully written and arresting literature. Well worth seeking out."--BRSBKBLOGAkashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched with the summer '04 award-winning best seller Brooklyn Noir. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective geographic range of the book. This anthology, with stories set in different prisons across the US, presents an absolutely new perspective on prison literature.From the introduction by Joyce Carol Oates:"The blood jet is poetry--these words of Sylvia Plath have reverberated through my experience of reading and rereading the stories of Prison Noir. In this case the blood jet is prose, though sometimes poetic prose; if we go a little deeper, in some chilling instances, the blood jet is exactly that: blood. For these stories are not "literary" exercises--though some are exceptionally well-written by any formalist standards, and artfully structured as narratives; with a single exception the stories are stark, somber, emotionally driven cris de coeur...We may feel revulsion for some of the acts described in these stories, but we are likely to feel a startled, even stunned sympathy for the perpetrators. And in several stories, including even murderers' confessions, we are likely to feel a profound and unsettling identification...There is no need for fantasy-horror in a place in which matter-of-fact horror is the norm, and mental illness is epidemic. Vividly rendered realism is the predominant literary strategy, as in a riveting documentary film."Featuring brand-new stories by: Christopher M. Stephen, Sin Soracco, Scott Gutches, Eric Boyd, Ali F. Sareini, Stephen Geez, B.M. Dolarman, Zeke Caligiuri, Marco Verdoni, Kenneth R. Brydon, Linda Michelle Marquardt, Andre White, Timothy Pauley, Bryan K. Palmer, and William Van Poyck.
Teena Maguire should not have tried to shortcut her way home that Fourth of July. Not after midnight, not through Rocky Point Park. Not the way she was dressed in a tank top, denim cutoffs, and high-heeled sandals. Not with her twelve-year-old daughter Bethie. Not with packs of local guys running loose on hormones, rage, and alcohol. A victim of gang rape, left for dead in the park boathouse, the once vivacious Teena can now only regret that she has survived. At a relentlessly compelling pace punctuated by lonely cries in the night and the whisper of terror in the afternoon, Joyce Carol Oates unfolds the story of Teena and Bethie, their assailants, and their unexpected, silent champion, a man who knows the meaning of justice. And love.
Lydia is a graduate student in cultural anthropology--a fellow at a prestigious university, with a bright future ahead of her. Harvey, her brother, is a seminary student driven by his god-besotted studies. The two have never shared much of anything except a mutual desire to escape the stifling confines of the home they grew up in and the parents they left behind. But when Lydia's estranged parents call her to say Harvey has mysteriously dropped out of seminary, Lydia begrudgingly sets out to "rescue" him--though the dark path into Harvey's new world leads Lydia herself through a threatening terrain of addiction, sexuality, and violence
Set in the underside of working-class Detroit of the 60s and 70s, this short, intense novel sketches Kathleen Hennessy's violent childhood and follows her into her early adult years as a health care worker.
New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates returns with an incendiary novel that illuminates the tragic impact of sexual violence, racism, brutality, and power on innocent lives and probes the persistence of stereotypes, the nature of revenge, the complexities of truth, and our insatiable hunger for sensationalismWhen a fourteen-year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanizes her community, exacerbating the racial tension that has been simmering in this New Jersey town for decades. In this magisterial work of fiction, Joyce Carol Oates explores the uneasy fault lines in a racially troubled society. In such a tense, charged atmosphere, Oates reveals that there must always be a sacrifice--of innocence, truth, trust, and, ultimately, of lives. Unfolding in a succession of multiracial voices, in a community transfixed by this alleged crime and the spectacle unfolding around it, this profound novel exposes what--and who--the "sacrifice" actually is, and what consequences these kinds of events hold for us all.Working at the height of her powers, Oates offers a sympathetic portrait of the young girl and her mother, and challenges our expectations and beliefs about our society, our biases, and ourselves. As the chorus of its voices--from the police to the media to the victim and her family--reaches a crescendo, The Sacrifice offers a shocking new understanding of power and oppression, innocence and guilt, truth and sensationalism, justice and retribution.A chilling exploration of complex social, political, and moral themes--the enduring trauma of the past, modern racial and class tensions, the power of secrets, and the primal decisions we all make to protect those we love--The Sacrifice is a major work of fiction from one of our most revered literary masters.
Sixteen-year-old Darren Flynn, a popular, good-looking high school athlete who lacks self-confidence, learns that his jock friends are hatching a revenge act against their English teacher for failing a member of the swim team.
Following up her powerful debut in young-adult fiction, master storyteller Oates visits the dark, enigmatic psyche of the teenage years in these 12 riveting tales. Featuring both well-known favorites and fresh new stories, the collection includes three prestigious O. Henry Award winners.
"Solstice" is the gripping story of Monica Jensen and Sheila Trask, two young women who are complete opposites yet irresistibly attracted to each other. Throughout the months, their friendship deepens, first to love and then to a near-fatal obsession.
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