As Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” surely contains the most frightening monologue in our literature, so Joyce Carol Oates’s most famous short story—”Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”—contains its most frightening dialogue.
Connie is always at the mercy of men who will come with a vehicle to take her away, to take her somewhere else. Women have no agency, no vehicle, no wheels. It’s not coincidental that Arnold Friend’s golden convertible is part of his magic.
First published in Epoch, Fall 1966. Included in Prize Stories: O Henry Award Winners (1968), and The Best American Short Stories (1967). Introduction to “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Why is “Where Are You […]