A Novel by Joyce Carol Oates

book cover
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Publisher: Ecco Press
Year: 2020
Pages: 789

The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy, providing a look at the darker side of our society.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.

Stark and penetrating, Joyce Carol Oates’s latest novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief, and eventual healing, as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author’s bestselling We Were the Mulvaneys.


Epigraph

A Clear Midnight

This is thy hour, O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou 
lovest best.
Night, sleep, death and the stars.

—Walt Whitman


Contents

Prologue
October 18, 2010

I: THE VIGIL
October 2010

  • Wind Chimes
  • Lightning-Struck
  • The Cruel Sister
  • Still Alive
  • The Handclasp
  • The Vigil
  • “Heir”
  • The Seed
  • “Evidence”
  • The Swimmer
  • The Party
  • Mutant
  • The Return of Whitey
  • The Blessing Stopped
  • The Steady Hand
  • Going Home

II: THE SIEGE
October 2010–April 2011

  • “What Did You Do with Daddy?”
  • The Strong One
  • Taser
  • The Beneficiary
  • The Widow’s Orgy
  • The Shaking Hand
  • Sleepwalker

III: UNTITLED: WIDOW
April 2011–June 2011

  • Mack the Knife
  • The Teasing
  • The Anger
  • The Wave
  • Demon Rakshasa
  • Recurring Dreams of the McClaren Children
  • May Heat
  • Visions at Duchtown
  • Keziahaya
  • Untitled: Widow
  • Dear Hugo

IV: THE STARS
June 2011–December 2011

  • Enemies
  • The Dice
  • Dear Hugo
  • The Hornets
  • Black Rush
  • The Handshake
  • The Braid
  • Warning
  • The Murderous Heart
  • The Last Will & Testament of Virgil McClaren
  • Justice
  • The Kiss
  • Gone
  • Thanksgiving 2011
  • Wind Chimes

V: GALAPAGOS
January 2012


2 Comments »

  1. thanks, Randy! this looks wonderful.

    I hope that I will catch a glimpse of you when I am in Berkeley, March 18 at the Townsend Humanities Center on campus. I think that my talk / interview is at 6 or 7 PM.

    much affection
    Joyce

    Liked by 1 person

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