Short Stories Joyce Carol Oates Where Is Here

ISBN 13: 9780880012836

Where Is Here

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9780880012836: Where Is Here

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.

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.

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About the Author:

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. Her most recent novel is A Book of American Martyrs. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

From Publishers Weekly:

The 35 stories in this exciting collection dramatize electrifying encounters and characters seized by heightened emotions, revealing them with inventiveness and boundless stylistic variety. Many of the stories are little more than brief vignettes, yet each illuminates its protagonist's state of mind like a flash of lightning. Demented voices in monologue animate the succinct "Lethal," where a sexual terrorist begins, "I just want to touch you a little"; and "Area Man Found Crucified," in which a wounded war veteran, now a vagrant, pleads for death. "Beauty Salon" maps the painful, delicate meeting of a convalescing man and the beautiful woman who barbers him. Women are fatal victims of male violence in "Turquoise" and "Murder." In "Bare Legs," a willful prostitute hunts for her children and sleeps with truckers; in "The Date," a woman changes clothes in a public lavatory, "panting like a dog" as she prepares to couple with yet another man. The tireless Oates ( Black Water ) seems determined to test her technical skills: several tales read like polished exercises. "Running" is chiefly a single sentence (over six pages) that mimes the headlong tempo of a runner as she pumps and ponders. "Forgive Me" and "Letter, Lover" stretch the epistolary mode: in the one, a woman inscribes the same letter to two former lovers, unable to keep them apart in her mind, in the other, obscenely sinister missives open the door to a new relationship. Oates is evidently willing to go anywhere her imagination leads her, and this collection adds several striking pieces to her already wide body of work about threatening situations.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Joyce Carol Oates
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