Oates typically leads her readers to focus on one plot element, while subtly rearranging the emotional landscape, leaving them in exhilaratingly uncharted territory. Spanning the first 30 years of Oates’s writing career, these stories aren’t for the faint of heart, but they’re a joy for anyone who appreciates the work of a master storyteller.
The six stories in the collection show Oates’ mastery of the form, across grisly body horror, experimental reflection, deep character study and sharp revenge fantasy. Across widely varying tone, from black comedy to utterly chilling, Oates is a writer utterly in command of her voice.
These are dark stories about dark days, suffused, like most of Oates’s work, with themes of violence, loss and longing. She offers possibility here, too, but only as if to say that while the myriad choices we can make may produce wildly different journeys, none of us, ultimately, is spared.
Here are five splendid stories, imagining five major American authors on the verge of death each rooted in biographical facts and presented in the authors own particular style that are harrowing, heartfelt, incredibly moving, that cut to the depths of the psyche, probing with such laser-lean, honed prose that it’ll take your breath away.
By Joyce Carol Oates A new collection of eleven mesmerizing stories by American master Joyce Carol Oates, including the 2017 Pushcart Prize–winning “Undocumented Alien” In the diverse stories of Beautiful […]
In these twenty-seven tales of the forbidden, Joyce Carol Oates explores the waking nightmares of life with eyes wide open, facing what the bravest of us fear the most. With eerie brilliance, this master of the short story reminds us just how seductive—and terrifying—they can be.