Small Avalanches and Other Stories

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9780060012175: Small Avalanches and Other Stories

When The Sky Blue Ball comes soaring over the fence, a high-school girl is confronted with the haunting memory of childhood. A jealous teen lets her cousin go off alone with a dangerous Capricorn, aware of the terrifying possibilities. A vulnerable young girl cunningly outwits a menacing stranger and exults in her newfound power, surviving the first of many Small Avalanches.

In these twelve riveting tales, master storyteller Joyce Carol Oates visits the dark, enigmatic psyche of the teenage years. Intense and unnerving, uplifting and triumphant, the stories in this collection explore the fateful consequences of the choices we make in our everyday lives.

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About the Author:

Award-winning author, Joyce Carol Oates was born in 1938 and grew up in upstate New York.While a scholarship student at Syracuse University, she won the coveted Mademoiselle fiction contest. She graduated as valedictorian, then earned an M.A. at the University of Wisconsin.In 1968, she began teaching at the University of Windsor.In 1978, she moved to New Jersey to teach creative writing at Princeton University, where she is now the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities.

A prolific writer, Joyce Carol Oates has produced some of the most controversial, and lasting, fiction of our time.Her novel, them, set in racially volatile 1960s Detroit, won the 1970 National Book Award. Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart focused on an interracial teenage romance. Black Water, a narrative based on the Kennedy-Chappaquiddick scandal, garnered a Pulitzer Prize nomination, and her national bestseller Blonde, an epic work on American icon Marilyn Monroe, became a National Book Award Finalist. Although Joyce Carol Oates has called herself, "a serious writer, as distinct from entertainers or propagandists," her novels have enthralled a wide audience, and We Were the Mulvaneys earned the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 8 Up-This is a haunting mix of 12 short stories-tales of seduction, abduction, miscued love, family tragedy, and family reconciliation-many of which previously appeared in adult publications. Several selections pulsate with the fickle folly of teen invincibility-capricious young women recklessly flirting with insidious dangers. Being alone in places where they shouldn't be, daring to enter an abandoned house, making a "chat room" acquaintance and setting up a meeting-all are shown to be risky ventures with dire consequences. In "Life after High School," a teen carries the guilt of a rejected boyfriend's suicide, only to learn, as an adult, that his struggle with homosexuality was at the heart of his death. "The Visit" relates the poignant experience of a teen who finally, though reluctantly, visits a frail grandparent in the isolating confines of a nursing home. The stories have a slow, deliberate, and unsettling current. Oates probes deeply into varying levels of inexperience, exposing complex material, and her commanding style captures the most intimate thoughts, fantasies, and flawed realities with a steady hand. This book should be given to young women as protection from their wide-eyed, "know-it-all" innocence.
Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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