Dear Husband by Joyce Carol Oates
With the unflinching candor and sympathy for which Joyce Carol Oates is celebrated, these fourteen stories examine the intimate lives of contemporary American families: the tangled ties between generations, the desperation - and the covert, radiant happiness - of loving more than one is loved in return. In "Cutty Sark" and "Landfill," the bond between adolescent son and mother reverberates with the force of an unspoken passion, bringing unexpected consequences for the son. In "A Princeton Idyll," a woman is forced to realize, decades later, her childhood role in the destruction of a famous, beloved grandfather's life. In "Magda Maria," a man tries to break free of the enthralling and dangerous erotic obsession of his life.
The Devil's Half Acre by Joyce Carol Oates (The Mysteries of Winterthurn, Part Two)
After more than a decade, the handsome amateur detective Xavier Kilgarvan has returned to Winterthurn just in time to see the fifth young womanâ€™s body carried from Devilâ€™s Half Acre. A brutal fiend has left her mutilated body in this desolate plot of land filled with hulking boulders, quicksand, and twisted trees. Can detective Kilgarvan discover the forces motivating the mysterious â€œGentleman Suitorâ€ who has lured five innocent women to their deaths? To do so, he must confront demons from the past and the superstitions that surround the Devilâ€™s Half Acre.
The Perfectionist by Joyce Carol Oates
From one of America's foremost novelists and short story writers comes a stunning new collection of plays, consisting of two full-length plays--THE PERFECTIONIST, nominated for a 1994 American Theatre Critics Award, and BLACK--and nine one-act plays. Charged with tension, menace, and the shock of the unexpected, these dramas showcase yet another dimension of Joyce Carol Oates's extraordinary talent.
The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates
When a fourteen-year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanises 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, 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 kind of events hold for us all.
Wild Nights by Joyce Carol Oates
Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Samuel Clemens ("Mark Twain"
, Henry James, Ernest Hemingwayâ€”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"â€”for Edgar Allan Poe, a belated encounter with bizarre lifeâ€‘forms utterly alien to the poet's exalted Romantic aesthetics; for Emily Dickinson, resurrected in the twenty-first century in a "distilled" state, a belated encounter with blundering humanity and brute passion of a kind excluded from the poet's verse; for the elderly, renowned Samuel Clemens, a belated encounter with impassioned innocence, in the form of "the little girl who loves you"; for Henry James, an aging volunteer in a London hospital during World War I, a belated encounter with the physicality of desire and the raw yearning of love long absent from the master's fiction; and, for Ernest Hemingway, the most tragic of these figures, a belated encounter with the "profound mysteries of the world outside him, and the profound mysteries of the world inside him."