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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.
A gripping and moving new collection of stories that reimagines the meaning of loss-through often unexpected and violent means. Joyce Carol Oates is not only one of our most important novelists and literary critics, she is also an unparalleled master of the short story. Sourland-sixteen previously uncollected stories that explore how the power of violence, loss, and grief shape both the psyche and the soul-shows us an author work-ing at the height of her powers. With lapidary precision and an unflinching eye, Oates maps the surprising contours of "ordinary" life. From a desperate man who dons a jack-o'-lantern head as a prelude to a most curious sort of courtship, to a "story of a stabbing" many times recounted in the life of a lonely girl; from a beguiling young woman librarian whose amputee state attracts a married man and father, to a girl hopelessly in love with her renegade, incarcerated cousin; from a professor's wife who finds herself tragically isolated at a party in her own house, to the concluding title story of an unexpectedly redemptive love rooted in radical aloneness and isolation, each story in Sourland resonates beautifully with Oates's trademark fascination for the unpredictable amid the prosaic-the comming-ling of sexual love and violence, the tumult of family life-and shines with her predilection for dark humor and her gift for voice.
Powerful, riveting, and real. Sixteen celebrated authors bring us raw, insightful stories that explore guns and teens in a fiction collection that is thought provoking and emotionally gripping. For fans of Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and Give a Boy a Gun, and with an array of YA talent like the late great Walter Dean Myers, the poetic Joyce Carol Oates, the prophetic Elizabeth Wein, and the gritty Chris Crutcher, these are evocative voices that each has a different perspective to give. Capturing the hurt and the healing, victims and perpetrators, these stories get to the heart of the matter.From a boy whose low self-esteem is impacted when a gun comes into his possession to a student recalling a senseless tragedy that befell a favorite teacher, from a realistic look at hunting to a provocative look at a family that defies stereotypes, each emotional story stirs the debate to new levels. The juxtaposition of guns and their consequences offers moving tales, each a reminder of how crucial the question of guns in our society is, and the impact they have on all of us.Other acclaimed contributors are Marc Aronson, Edward Averett, Francesca Lia Block, Alex Flinn, Gregory Galloway, Jenny Hubbard, Peter Johnson, Ron Koertge, Chris Lynch, Eric Shanower, Will Weaver, and Tim Wynne-Jones.
Joshua Seigl, a celebrated but reclusive author, is forced for reasons of failing health to surrender his much-prized bachelor's independence. Advertising for an assistant, he unwittingly embarks upon the most dangerous adventure of his privileged life. Alma Busch, a sensuous, physically attractive young woman with bizarre tattoos covering much of her body, stirs in Seigl a complex of emotions: pity? desire? responsibility? guilt? Unaware of her painful past and her troubled personality, Seigl hires her as his assistant. As the novel alternates between Seigl's and Alma's points of view, the naïve altruism of the one and the virulent anti-Semitism of the other clash in a tragedy of thwarted erotic desire. With her masterful balance of dark suspense and surprising tenderness, Joyce Carol Oates probes the contemporary tragedy of ethnic hatred and challenges our accepted limits of desire. The Tattooed Girl may be her most controversial novel.
Tenderness, the eighth volume of verse by Joyce Carol Oates, is a generous selection of fifty-seven poems, ranging in voice from the lyric to the narrative to the satiric.
A novel about class, race, and the horrific, glassy sparkle of urban life, them chronicles the lives of the Wendalls, a family on the steep edge of poverty in the windy, riotous Detroit slums. Loretta, beautiful and dreamy and full of regret by age sixteen, and her two children, Maureen and Jules, make up Oates' vision of the American family--broken, marginal, and romantically proud. <P><P> The novel's title, pointedly uncapitalized, refers to those Americans who inhabit the outskirts of society--men and women, mothers and children--whose lives many authors in the 1960s had left unexamined. <P> Winner of the National Book Award
It wasn't like she had not warned us. It wasn't like she had not prepared us. We'd known that something was wrong those last several months. But then, Tink hasn't actually vanished. Tink is gone, and yet--she is here somewhere, even if we can't see her. Tink? Are you--here?
Uncensored: Views & (Re)views is Joyce Carol Oates's most candid gathering of prose pieces since (Woman) Writer: Occasions & Opportunities. Her ninth book of nonfiction, it brings together thirty-eight diverse and provocative pieces from the New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, and the New York Times Book Review.Oates states in her preface, "In the essay or review, the dynamic of storytelling is hidden but not absent," and indeed, the voice of these "conversations" echoes the voice of her fiction in its dramatic directness, ethical perspective, and willingness to engage the reader in making critical judgments. Under the heading "Not a Nice Person," such controversial figures as Sylvia Plath, Patricia Highsmith, and Muriel Spark are considered without sentimentality or hyperbole; under "Our Contemporaries, Ourselves," such diversely talented figures as William Trevor, E. L. Doctorow, Kazuo Ishiguro, Michael Connelly, Alice Sebold, Mary Karr, Anne Tyler, and Ann Patchett are examined. In sections of "homages" and "revisits," Oates writes with enthusiasm and clarity of such cultural icons as Emily Brontë, Ernest Hemingway, Carson McCullers, Robert Lowell, Balthus, and Muhammad Ali ("The Greatest"); after a lapse of decades, she (re)considers the first film version of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Americana, Don DeLillo's first novel, as well as the morality of selling private letters and the nostalgic significance of making a pilgrimage to Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond.Through these balanced and illuminating essays we see Oates at the top of her form, engaged with forebears and contemporaries, providing clues to her own creative process: "For prose is a kind of music: music creates 'mood.' What is argued on the surface may be but ripples rising from a deeper, subtextual urgency."
The first Oprah Book Club® selection of 2001! A New York Times Notable Book "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 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. The Mulvaneys of High Point Farm in Mt. Ephraim, New York, are a large and fortunate clan, blessed with good looks, abundant charisma, and boundless promise. But over the twenty-five year span of this ambitious novel, the Mulvaneys will slide, almost imperceptibly at first, from the pinnacle of happiness, transformed by the vagaries of fate into a scattered collection of lost and lonely souls. It is the youngest son, Judd, now an adult, who attempts to piece together the fragments of the Mulvaneys' former glory, seeking to uncover and understand the secret violation that occasioned the family's tragic downfall. Each of the Mulvaneys endures some form of exile- physical or spiritual - but in the end they find a way to bridge the chasms that have opened up among them, reuniting in the spirit of love and healing. Profoundly cathartic, Oates' acclaimed novel unfolds as if, in the darkness of the human spirit, she has come upon a source of light at its core. Rarely has a writer made such a startling and inspiring statement about the value of hope and compassion. .
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.
A stellar collection from Newbery medalists and bestselling authors written to benefit Darfuri refugeesWith contributions from some of the best talent writing for children today, What You Wish For is a compelling collection of affecting, inspiring, creepy, and oft-times funny short stories and poems all linked by the universal power of a wish - the abstract things we all wish for - home, family, safety and love.From the exchange of letters between two girls who have never met but are both struggling with the unexpected curves of life, to the stunning sacrifice one dying girl makes for another, to the mermaid who trades her tail for legs, to the boy who unwittingly steals an imp's house, and to the chilling retelling of Cinderella, What You Wish For brings together a potent international roster of authors of note to remember and celebrate the Darfuri refugees and their incredible story of survival and hope.
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.
Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Samuel Clemens ("Mark Twain"), Henry James, Ernest Hemingway--Joyce Carol Oates evokes each of these American literary icons in her newest work of prose fiction, poignantly and audaciously reinventing the climactic events of their lives. In subtly nuanced language suggestive of each of these writers, Oates explores the mysterious regions of the unknowable self that is "genius."Darkly hilarious, brilliant, and brazen, Wild Nights! is Joyce Carol Oates's most original and haunting work of the imagination.
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.
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.<P><P> Winner of Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel
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