Mysteries of Winterthurn is a work of haunting intensity, brilliantly conceived and executed, a terrifying portrait of a fallen world. And yet, as one senses the presence of light in the empirical datum of darkness, this phenomenology of the demonic hints at a mysterious presence of quite another kind, the ultimate paradox that shatters all finite categories of reason.
Oates paints a dark vision of America as a land where love of money is the root of everything and people are doomed to repeat their crimes. Oates, who rarely falters throughout this epic, does offer glimmers of justice and hope. But ultimately she has written an American tragedy.
So much more than the kind of standard-issue unreliable narrator, Georgene is a vastly complex character whose every word, every use of parentheses and italics, must be examined closely for intent. A thematically and stylistically ambitious novel that displays the author’s literary gifts to their maximum effect.
Oates paints an unflinching portrait of 1970s upper-middle-class America, touching on issues of racism, classism, and institutional abuse while exploring society’s tendency to value women solely in relation to the role they fill—be it wife, mother, or sexual object. A searing work of slow-burning domestic noir.
By Joyce Carol Oates Joyce Carol Oates moves into new territory in the first novel she has written in a contemporary setting since Solstice. American Appetites takes us into affluent, upper-class suburbia […]
Oates writes from the frontier of integration, where race is all but tells us so much less than we might assume, imply or assert. Black Girl/White Girl is the third novel in which Oates plays variations on the psychologically complex themes of interwoven class and ethnic conflict.
When Iris Courtney is a young girl, she is the only witness to a murderous street fight between Jinx Fairchild and a white man who has threatened her. A bond of passion and guilt is formed between the two—at first unstated, then slowly, year by year, gathering force until it must inevitably declare itself, and the consequences are fateful.