A little girl who has witnessed a murder; a fragile, simple-minded woman deserted by her husband; a brilliant college student edging toward the brink of insanity; an American intellectual visiting in Poland, so closely identifying with “My Warszawa” that she finds her own sense of identity slipping away.
By Joyce Carol Oates
Long established in the front rank of contemporary American authors, Joyce Carol Oates is virtually unrivaled in the breadth and diversity of her achievements. The present volume, Last Days, reaffirms her continuing commitment to the short story, the form which first brought her to prominence in the early 1960s and which she has practiced since then with an ever-deepening mastery.
The eleven stories here, ranging from the realistic to the fantastic, reflect with uncanny perception the seismic disturbances of life in the present. These stories are, as one would expect from their author, intensely dramatic and irresistibly readable, but what sets them apart is her genius for imagining the lives of her characters. A little girl who has witnessed a murder; a fragile, simple-minded woman deserted by her husband; a brilliant college student edging toward the brink of insanity; an American intellectual visiting in Poland, so closely identifying with “My Warszawa” that she finds her own sense of identity slipping away; a diplomat who returns to the United States defiled by his experiences in a poverty-stricken North African country—all are evoked with compelling authenticity. Oates persuades us that this is how they must be. We are in the presence of an author whose vision of life becomes our own.
In Last Days, Joyce Carol Oates makes yet another memorable contribution to the American short story.
The Man Whom Women Adored
Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.
Ich Bin Ein Berliner
My Warszawa: 1980
Lamb of Abyssalia
From “Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.”
Again this morning though I prayed hard to God otherwise it is snowing. It began around four-thirty when I first woke up to look out our bedroom window and now, hours later, it is still snowing. Great soft wet clumps the size of blossoms. And tomorrow is Easter Sunday. And the girls will be angry. Fist-sized clumps of snow, so silent. So slow. Falling in the woods, in the overgrown fields, in the old cow pasture where the rail fences are down. Falling and turning to lacy filigree in the trees out back. In all that underbrush Jonathan hadn’t finished clearing last fall. It is very beautiful probably, a benison of God. It is serene and comforting at least and all in silence. Therefore I dread the girls waking.
Would it be possible by any means that you could mail me a PDF copy of the short story LAST DAYS, by Joyce Carol Oates, not the whole book but only the short story that borrowed the title to it, please?
I live in Lima, Peru.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Movil Nº: ` +51 992692453
Thank you very much, in advance.
The story is available online in the Michigan Quarterly Review where it was originally published: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.act2080.0022.003:19