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Son of the Morning

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814907931
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1977
  • Pages: 370

Meet the Author

Joyce Carol Oates
In a prolific and varied oeuvre that ranges over essays, plays, criticism, and several genres of fiction, Joyce Carol Oates has proved herself one of the most influential and important storytellers in the literary world.

Biography

Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most influential and important storytellers in the literary world. She has often used her supreme narrative skills to examine the dark side of middle-class Americana, and her oeuvre includes some of the finest examples of modern essays, plays, criticism, and fiction from a vast array of genres. She is still publishing with a speed and consistency of quality nearly unheard of in contemporary literature.

A born storyteller, Oates has been spinning yarns since she was a little girl too young to even write. Instead, she would communicate her stories through drawings and paintings. When she received her very first typewriter at the age of 14, her creative floodgates opened with a torrent. She says she wrote "novel after novel" throughout high school and college -- a prolificacy that has continued unabated throughout a professional career that began in 1963 with her first short story collection, By the North Gate.

Oates's breakthrough occurred in 1969 with the publication of them, a National Book Award winner that established her as a force to be reckoned with. Since that auspicious beginning, she has been nominated for nearly every major literary honor -- from the PEN/Faulkner Award to the Pulitzer Prize -- and her fiction turns up with regularity on The New York Times annual list of Notable Books.

On average Oates publishes at least one novel, essay anthology, or story collection a year (during the 1970s, she produced at the astonishing rate of two or three books a year!). And although her fiction often exposes the darker side of America's brightest facades – familial unrest, sexual violence, the death of innocence – she has also made successful forays into Gothic novels, suspense, fantasy, and children's literature. As novelist John Barth once remarked, "Joyce Carol Oates writes all over the aesthetical map."

Where she finds the time for it no one knows, but Oates manages to combine her ambitious, prolific writing career with teaching: first at the University of Windsor in Canada, then (from 1978 on), at Princeton University in New Jersey. For all her success and fame, her daily routine of teaching and writing has changed very little, and her commitment to literature as a transcendent human activity remains steadfast.

Good To Know

When not writing, Oates likes to take in a fight. "Boxing is a celebration of the lost religion of masculinity all the more trenchant for its being lost," she says in highbrow fashion of the lowbrow sport.

Oates's Black Water, which is a thinly veiled account of Ted Kennedy's car crash in Chappaquiddick, was produced as an opera in the 1990s.

In 2001, Oprah Winfrey selected Oates's novel We Were the Mulvaneys for her Book Club.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Rosamond Smith
    2. Hometown:
      Princeton, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 16, 1938
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lockport, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Syracuse University, 1960; M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1961

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  • Posted March 4, 2012

    A Gothic exploration of faith

    Joyce Carol Oates begins this novel using tools not available to most authors. She can lay down characters with actions and dialogue. She does not have to always rely on the narrator telling what they are feeling. When she does this, you feel like the character dictates what transpires, and Ms. Oates is just there to recount it for you. This is why I can get so absorbed in her books--I feel like they are actually happening, that they are truthful. This is terrifying when her books reach their usual Gothic slant, for you cannot but go along and be swept up in whatever is going on.

    This is the first book of hers in which I encountered such an extrapolation on Christian faith. I hesitate to comment too much on the religious views presented by the characters, for fear of attack or controversy, but, someone not familiar with Ms. Oates' writing will think she believes what she writes. It is my opinion that her personal beliefs have nothing to do with the protagonist's, Nathaniel, a man touched by God, and revered by those who witness him. Every thought of Nathaniel's and of the "narrator's" seems logical, and yet, they take you far out on a branch of belief that may seem extreme to some, and make strike a chord with others. I, for one, had never heard some of the logic and conclusions that Nathaniel believed in, and I was caught up in his raptures, visions, and beliefs.

    This is typical of Ms. Oates. She will get inside the belief, get inside the character, get inside the realities of what she writes, and somehow makes herself a veritable authority on the subject. ZOMBIE is used in criminal literature, YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS and ON BOXING are among the top contributions to sports literature, BLONDE is an authoritative text on Marilyn Monroe, etc. With SON OF THE MORNING, she goes as far as one's intellect, heart and soul can delve into the teachings and ministries of Christ. I have no idea of her beliefs, and feel that maybe she herself was caught up with an otherworldly inspiration, as in her stories translated in her mind from the Portuguese, THE POISONED KISS.

    My only criticism was that, towards the end, I got lost in the musings and wildfire thoughts of Nathaniel, and my mind started to wander. However, her portrayal of the lower class, the unfortunate, and the disillusioned were as masterful as always. This may not be one's first choice for entry into her catalogue, but any fan of hers cannot miss this one. Also recommended for fans of IMAJICA.

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