Oates, Joyce Carol My Heart Laid Bare

ISBN 13: 9780062269256

My Heart Laid Bare

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9780062269256: My Heart Laid Bare

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 vulnerability

The 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.

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Product Description:

My Heart Laid Bare is a striking departure for Joyce Carol Oates: a sweeping saga of the fortunes and misfortunes of a family of enterprising confidence artists in 19th-century America. Mythic in scope, ballad-like in the telling, it is Oates's most daring work yet -- a stunning tale of crime and transgression -- with profound moral consequences.Oates's picture of America as a land of opportunity to immigrants and settlers takes on a dark tone as we see these veritable shape-shifters exploit the unsuspecting rich by appealing to their deepest flaws. Yet recognizing the sins of greed, lust, pride, and small-mindedness in others does not prevent the patriarch and his brilliant children from being laid low by the same faults.

Review:

In this Joyce Carol Oates's novel, a New England confidence man teaches his children the tricks of his trade and sends them out into the world to relieve suckers of their money. The book traces the Licht family's fortunes through the first three decades of the 20th century, as the children come of age, master their talents, and grow away from their father's beliefs. Abraham Licht is a charming but sinister man who is extremely attached to the haunted swamp adjacent to the family home. He schools his children in the arts of assuming new identities and turning one's back on the past, skills which Oates suggests come quite easily to Americans. Licht advises his youngest son, a boy ill-suited to grift, to "assemble your selves with grace," by which he means, be duplicitous and excel at it! Do not bare your heart! However, Abraham's lessons don't stick--one by one, Papa Licht's children let him down. The youngest son becomes a talented musician and composer, while the younger sister devotes herself to a life of helping others as a nurse and suffragette. The other children stick to grift but distance themselves from their father, which breaks his devilish heart. My Heart Laid Bare is a tragic family epic. It is a complicated, ambitious book crammed with ideas, crisply drawn characters, and American history. As Oates unfurls the tragedy, she describes many of the social movements of the early 20th century and posits that this country was shaped by charming, talented liars like the Lichts. --Jill Marquis

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 206 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062269256

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Book Description Ecco, 2015. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Mythic in scope and ballad-like in the telling, "My Heart Laid Bare" is the sweeping saga of the fortunes and misfortunes of a family of enterprising confidence artists in 19th-century America. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0062269259

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Book Description Book Condition: New. Publisher/Verlag: HarperCollins US | Finally returned to print in a beautiful new trade paperback edition, MY HEART LAID BARE is a haunting historical tale of a 19th century family of con artists, skillfully illustrating the chilling lesson that recognizing and exploiting weakness in others does not protect one from succumbing to the very same flaws in oneself. | 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 vulnerability The 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. | Format: Paperback | Language/Sprache: english | 465 gr | 203x134x25 mm | 624 pp. Bookseller Inventory # K9780062269256

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