The time is the 1950s. The place is a blue-collar town in upstate New York, where five high school girls are joined in a gang dedicated to pride, power, and vengeance on a world they never made - a world that seems made to denigrate and destroy them. Foxfire is Joyce Carol Oates' strongest and most unsparing novel yet...an often engrossing, often ...
The time is the 1950s. The place is a blue-collar town in upstate New York, where five high school girls are joined in a gang dedicated to pride, power, and vengeance on a world they never made - a world that seems made to denigrate and destroy them. Foxfire is Joyce Carol Oates' strongest and most unsparing novel yet...an often engrossing, often shocking evocation of female rage, gallantry, and grit. Here, then, are the Foxfire chronicles - the secret history of a sisterhood of blood, a haven from a world of lechers and oppressors, marked by a liberating fury that burns too hot to last. It is the story of Maddy Monkey, who writes it...of Goldie, whose womanly body masks a fierce, explosive temper...of Lana, with her Marilyn Monroe hair and packs of Chesterfields...of timid Rita, whose humiliation leads to the first act of Foxfire revenge. Above all, it is the story of Legs Sadovsky, with her lean, on-the-edge, icy beauty, whose nerve, muscle, hate, and hurt make her the spark of Foxfire, its guiding spirit, its burning core. At once brutal and lyrical, this is a careening joyride of a novel - charged with outlaw energy and lit by intense emotion. The story moves over the years from the first eruption of adolescent anger at sexual abuse to a shared life financed by luring predatory men into traps baited with sex. But then the gang's very success leads to disaster - as Foxfire makes a last tragic stand against a society intent on swallowing it up. Yet amid scenes of violence, sexual abuse, exploitation, and vengeance lies this novel's greatest power: the exquisite, astonishing rendering of the bonds that link the girls of Foxfire together - especially that between Maddy, the teller ofthe tale, and Legs, whose quintessential strength and bedrock bravery make her one of the most vivid and vital heroines in modern fiction.
Publishers Weekly, 1993-05-31 ``It was between the ages of thirteen and seventeen that I belonged to FOXFIRE and FOXFIRE made sacred those years.'' Madeleine Faith Wirtz narrates Oates's 22nd novel in first-person promiscuous, chronicling intimately the violent comings and goings of a communard and her female teenaged outfit: Foxfire, a gang set up in smalltown, upstate Hammond, N.Y., during the 1950s. Maddy and her four cohorts find strength in numbers. Together they assault and kill, their main victims being adult men who have have exploited them. The novel is written years afterward from the vantage point of skeptical adulthood when Maddy has gone respectable and looks over the notebooks she had kept during her Foxfire days. In the course of reminiscing, Maddy recovers the group's ardor, the sense of oppression and reckless abandon, and then tempers it. The novel is true to Oates and her oeuvre, revisiting some of the themes of her earliest work--female delinquency and survival--while seeking to expand the canvas into a group portrait. The author grittily evokes the hectic, heated power surges of self-taught feminist anarchists; in her prose she walks a delicate line between the raw and the literary, the wildly ignorant and the wisely knowing. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild selection; author tour. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1994-07-18 Oates depicts a gang of five adolescent girls growing up amidst violence and frustration in upstate New York during the 1950s. (Aug.)
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