Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart (Plume)

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9780452265813: Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart (Plume)

Joyce Carol Oates adds to her extraordinary body of work with this stunning novel of violence and love. At the heart of the story are two people, Iris Courtney, who is white, and handsome Jinx Fairchild, the black basketball player who, in protecting Iris, kills a white man.

Iris is the only witness to the crime.

The two of them are growing up in the early 1950s in a New York industrial town where racial boundaries keep people apart—or bring them together in explosive scenes of fear or desire. The secret link between Iris and Jinx is not only their attraction to each other, but a murder and a bond of passion and guilt is formed between them. How this one irrevocable, tragic act shapes their lives and alters their destinies becomes Joyce Carol Oates’ finest, emotion-packed novel—a work the critics are calling a masterpiece, the best work of America’s best writer of contemporary realism.

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About the Author:

In addition to many prize-winning and bestselling novels, including We Were the Mulvaneys, Black Water, Because It Is Bitter and Because It Is My Heart, and Broke Heart Blues, Joyce Carol Oates is the author of a number of works of gothic fiction including Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque, a World Fantasy Award nominee; and Zombie, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best Horror Novel, awarded by the Horror Writers' Association. In 1994, Oates received the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award in Horror Fiction. She is the editor of American Gothic Tales. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

From Publishers Weekly:

Murder galvanizes an industrial town in upstate New York when a husky red-haired corpse is fished from a polluted river in 1956. With sure strokes, Oates ( American Appetites ) delineates the racial hatreds leading to the crime that then entangles black basketball hero Verlyn ("Jinx") Fairchild and blonde Iris Courtney. Their coming of age from the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s--in the shadow of the civil rights struggle and John F. Kennedy's assassination--their love and their unpremeditated complicity in the town's violence are brilliantly portrayed. Jinx, appealing in his "innocence and impotence," can't help himself or his brother, Sugar Baby, wrecked by drug dealing. Iris, alert, locked into icy detachment, watches Jinx suffer, while her own alcoholic mother and gambling father drift apart. Blotting out her problems, Iris sleepwalks into the household of the exotic Savages, art historians who prize her beauty. Oates is a master at realizing the social forces that twist the fates of her characters. BOMC dual main selection.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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