Joyce Carol Oates’s prize-winning story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” takes up troubling subjects that continue to occupy her in her fiction: the romantic longings and limited options of adolescent women; the tensions between mothers and daughters; the sexual victimization of women; and the American obsession with
violence. Inspired by a magazine story about a serial killer, its remarkable portrait of the dreamy teenager Connie has made it a feminist classic. Connie’s life anticipates the emergence of American society from the social innocence of the fifties into the harsher contemporary realities of war, random violence, and crime. The story was the basis for the movie Smooth Talk, which became the subject of much feminist debate.
This casebook includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of Oates’s life, an authoritative text of “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” an essay by Oates on Smooth Talk, the original Life article about the serial killer, ten critical essays (including two about the film), and a bibliography.
The contributors are Brenda O. Daly, Christina Marsden Gillis, Don Moser, Tom Quirk, B. Ruby Rich, R.J.R. Rockwood, Larry Rubin, Gretchen Schultz, Marie Mitchell Oleson Urbanski, Joyce M. Wegs, and Joan D. Winslow.
“WHERE ARE YOU GOING, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?”
Joyce Carol Oates
BACKGROUND TO THE STORY
The Pied Piper of Tuscon: He Cruised in a Golden Car, Looking for the Action
Existential Allegory: Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
Marie Mitchell Oleson Urbanski
A Source for “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
The Stranger Within: Two Stories by Oates and Hawthorne
Joan D. Winslow
“Don’t You Know Who I Am?”: The Grotesque in Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
Joyce M. Wegs
Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
In Fairyland, without a Map: Connie’s Exploration Inward in Joyce Carol Oates’s “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”
Gretchen Schultz and R.J.R. Rockwood
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”: Seduction, Space, and a Fictional Mode
Christina Marsden Gillis
Good Girls, Bad Girls
B. Ruby Rich
An Unfilmable Conclusion: Joyce Carol Oates at the Movies
Brenda O. Daly
Image: Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
I'm a Reference Librarian at the University of San Francisco's Gleeson Library, and I run the Joyce Carol Oates web site, Celestial Timepiece.