An enthralling collection of short stories from the National Book Award shortlisted author of 'Blonde' and 'Middle Age'. In this collection of 21 stories, the mysterious private lives of individuals are explored with vivid, unsparing precision and sympathy. By turn interlocutor and interpreter, magician and realist, Joyce Carol Oates dissects the ...
An enthralling collection of short stories from the National Book Award shortlisted author of 'Blonde' and 'Middle Age'. In this collection of 21 stories, the mysterious private lives of individuals are explored with vivid, unsparing precision and sympathy. By turn interlocutor and interpreter, magician and realist, Joyce Carol Oates dissects the psyches of ordinary people and their potential for good and evil with chilling understatement and lasting power. In 'Faithless' two adult sisters recall their mother's disappearance when they were children; in 'Ugly Girl' a bitterly angry young woman defines herself as ugly as a way of making herself invulnerable to hurt, and in so doing hurts others; in 'Lover' a beautiful woman locked into an obsessive love affair seeks her revenge in a bizarre, violent manner. Intense and provocative, 'Faithless' is a startling look into the heart of contemporary America from the modern master of the short story.
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As she does in her longer works, we come so close to the the people she submits to us, characters , with whom we breathe the same air, groan as they do, and shrink from them in horror when their fury comes clear. The range of the stories go from farming fokls from NY state to wealthy businessmen in NY City, from women bent on revenge and those who give of their love always.
Reading her is a .consecration to literature, as I'm sure all who read her will agree.
Mar 25, 2008
True to Joyce Carol Oates "Faithless," does not disappoint the reader, nor does it let you space out for a moment! If you looked up the definition of faithless, I'm sure you could not come up with as many different scenarios to define the term as Ms. Oates has. If you are a fan then you already have surmised that these short stories are not limited to a husband-wife relationship. Most of the stories take place "somewhere" in upstate New York, but you could imagine the setting in any small American town. You in addition to your emotions are kept on edge as you read along and as you feel for the teenage boy not true to the self he should be, or when you want to scream, "beware," to the lady lawyer Marina, and how you will miss "Mamma," along with the two daughters she abandoned, in addition to all the other stories. As with all of her other books, this is a must read!
Publishers Weekly, 2001-01-29 Oates long ago established herself as the nation's literary Weegee, prowling the mean streets of the American mind and returning with gloriously lurid takes on our midnight obsessions. If she has left a stone in the shared unconscious unturned, she turns it here in this collection of 24 wide-ranging stories. As the subtitle suggests, the book's preoccupation is sin, but otherwise the stories are richly various. They range from quiet, intimate talesDsuch as the chilling opening effort, "Au Sable," about a man let in on a suicide he cannot preventDto the satiric fantasia on TV journalism and police brutality that closes the volume, "*In COPLAND*." Indeed, the stories (and there are enough here for two if not three volumes) are loosely grouped into three untitled sections, respectively focused on individual obsession, family and notorious recent crimes. Throughout, sex often seems the innocent engine of our sins. In the title story, which opens the second section, sexual infidelity is offered as a coverup for a much deeper faithlessness, and in "What Then, My Life?" a successful woman asks whether her life would have been as meaningful and successful if the sexual assault that marked her youth had not occurred. But it is the stories of the final section that will probably attract the most attention. These tales echo the headlinesDthe Menendez brothers, Columbine, Abner LouimaDbut do so with great imagination and unexpected humor. Some may see the collection's virtue, its great variety, as its vice, judging it a miscellany of sketches and treatments written quickly during off hours. But few if any authors share Oates's phenomenal range, and few know our dark but shimmering secrets so well. (Mar. 3) Forecast: Post-Blonde, Oates is flying high. The stories may be a hard sell, particularly with so many Oates novels on the shelves, but strong reviews and lingering Blonde effervescence could translate into decent salesDand of course this should remain a perennial backlist item. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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