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Jerome "Corky" Corcoran is a money-juggling wheeler-dealer, rising politico, popular man's man and successful womanizer. It is Memorial Day weekend and we are about to live with him, breathe with him, and sweat with him in a nonstop marathon of mounting desperation as he tries to keep his financial empire from unraveling, his love life from shredding, and his rebellious daughter from destroying both herself and him.
In dramatic, tightly focused narratives charges with tension, menace, and the shock of the unexpected, "Where Is Here? examines a world in which ordinary life is electrified by the potential for sudden change. Domestic violence, fear and abandonment and betrayal, and the obsession with loss shadow the characters that inhabit these startling, intriguing stories. With the precision and intensity that are the hallmarks of her remarkable talent, Joyce Carol Oates explores the unexpected turns of events that leave people vulnerable and struggling to puzzle out the consequences of their abrupt reversals of fortune.<P>As in the title story, in which a married couple find their controlled life irrevocably altered by a stranger's visit, the fiction in this new collection is punctuated again and again by mysterious, perhaps unanswerable, questions: "Out of what does our life arise? Out of what does our consciousness arise? Why are we here? Where is here?" Like the questions they pose, these tales -- at once elusive and direct -- unfold with the enigmatic twists of riddles and, often, the blunt shock of tragedy. "Where is Here? is the work of a master practitioner of the short story.
In a work unlike anything she's written before, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates unveils a poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of her husband of forty-six years and its wrenching, surprising aftermath. "My husband died, my life collapsed." On a February morning in 2008, Joyce Carol Oates drove her ailing husband, Raymond Smith, to the emergency room of the Princeton Medical Center where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Both Joyce and Ray expected him to be released in a day or two. But in less than a week, even as Joyce was preparing for his discharge, Ray died from a virulent hospital-acquired infection, and Joyce was suddenly faced-totally unprepared-with the stunning reality of widowhood. A Widow's Story illuminates one woman's struggle to comprehend a life without the partnership that had sustained and defined her for nearly half a century. As never before, Joyce Carol Oates shares the derangement of denial, the anguish of loss, the disorientation of the survivor amid a nightmare of "death-duties," and the solace of friendship. She writes unflinchingly of the experience of grief-the almost unbearable suspense of the hospital vigil, the treacherous "pools" of memory that surround us, the vocabulary of illness, the absurdities of commercialized forms of mourning. Here is a frank acknowledgment of the widow's desperation-only gradually yielding to the recognition that "this is my life now." Enlivened by the piercing vision, acute perception, and mordant humor that are the hallmarks of the work of Joyce Carol Oates, this moving tale of life and death, love and grief, offers a candid, never-before-glimpsed view of the acclaimed author and fiercely private woman.
These are essays on somewhat general subjects such as the creative impulse, what it means to be a woman writer though the imagination is genderless, and the abundance of "wonderlands" in our culture and invigorating re-explorations of individual writers such as Melville, Emily Dickinson, Charlotte Bronte, R. L. Stevenson and Hemingway.
This book is about Jesse Heart, beginning with the day that will change his life forever, it covers his marriage and children, and his practice as a doctor.
Joyce Carol Oates's Wonderland Quartet comprises four remarkable novels that explore social class in America and the inner lives of young Americans. Spanning from the Great Depression to the turbulent Vietnam War era, Wonderland is the epic account of Jesse Vogel, a boy who emerged from a family tragedy with his life spared but his world torn apart. Orphaned after watching his father murder his entire family, Jesse embarks on a personal odyssey that takes him from a Dickensian foster home to college and graduate school to the pinnacle of the medical profession. As an adult, Jesse must summon the strength to reach across the "generation gap" and rescue his endangered teenaged daughter, who has fallen into the drug-infused 1960s counterculture. Hailed by Library Journal as "the greatest of Oates's novels," Wonderland is the capstone of a magnificent literary excursion that plunges beneath the glossy surface of American life. Wonderland is the final novel in Joyce Carol Oates's Wonderland Quartet. The books that complete this acclaimed series, A Garden of Earthly Delights, Expensive People, and them, are also available from the Modern Library.JFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
Meet Quentin P. He is a problem for his professor father and his loving mother, though of course they do not believe the charge (sexual molestation of a minor) that got him in that bit of trouble. He is a challenge for his court-appointed psychiatrist, who nonetheless is encouraged by the increasingly affirmative quality of his dreams and his openness in discussing them. He is a thoroughly sweet young man for his wealthy grandmother, who gives him more and more, and can deny him less and less. He is the most believable and thoroughly terrifying sexual psychopath and killer ever to be brought to life in fiction, as Joyce Carol Oates achieves her boldest and most brilliant triumph yet--a dazzling work of art that extends the borders of the novel into the darkest heart of truth.
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