Sourland: Stories

Sourland: Stories

3.2 11
by Joyce Carol Oates
     
 

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Oates is a fearless writer.”

Los Angeles Times

 

“Oates is a master of the dark tale—stories of the hunted and the hunter, of violence, trauma, and deep psychic wounds.”

Booklist (starred review)

 

Sourland is a gripping, haunting,

Overview

Oates is a fearless writer.”

Los Angeles Times

 

“Oates is a master of the dark tale—stories of the hunted and the hunter, of violence, trauma, and deep psychic wounds.”

Booklist (starred review)

 

Sourland is a gripping, haunting, and intensely moving collection of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates, one of America’s preeminent authors. Unforgettable tales that re-imagine the meaning of loss—often through violent means—Sourland is yet another extraordinary read from the literary icon who has previously brought us The Gravedigger’s Daughter, Blonde, We Were the Mulvaneys, and numerous other classic works of contemporary fiction.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Oates's latest collection explores certain favorite Oatesian themes, primary among them violence, loss, and privilege. Three of the stories feature white, upper-class, educated widows whose sheltered married lives have left them unprepared for life alone. In "Pumpkin-Head" and "Sourland," the widows--Hadley in the first story, Sophie in the second--encounter a class of Oatesian male: predatory, needy lurkers just out of prosperity's reach. In the first story, our lurker is Anton Kruppe, a Central European immigrant and vague acquaintance of Hadley whose frustrations boil over in a disastrous way. In the second story, Sophie is contacted by Jeremiah, an old friend of her late husband, and eventually visits him in middle-of-nowhere northern Minnesota, where she discovers, too late, his true intentions. The third widow story, "Probate," concerns Adrienne Myer's surreal visit to the courthouse to register her late husband's will, but Oates has other plans for Adrienne, who is soon lost in a warped bureaucratic funhouse worthy of Kafka. Oates's fiction has the curious, morbid draw of a flaming car wreck. It's a testament to Oates's talent that she can nearly always force the reader to look. (Sept.)
San Francisco Chronicle
“...Innovative, brilliant...there are sentences that leave a deeply sensuous pleasure in their wake...”
Los Angeles Times
“We think of Oates, like Poe, as a master of terror, but her real mastery is in almost never depicting a strong emotion in isolation...Oates makes for a caustic companion in Sourland - a fearless experimenter forcing the reader ahead of her at knifepoint.”
Chicago Tribune
“Making sense of life in a cataclysmic inner and outer landscape has been Joyce Carol Oates’ obsession for five decades. This evocative new collection shows just how much sense she can make of it now.”
Buffalo News
“Oates remains . . . a living master of the short story-far more virtuosic in manner than the ecstatic realist she is usually taken to be and far more at home in the form, too.”
New York Times
“A master class in the art of pure, suspenseful storytelling...Oates is a dangerous writer in the best sense of the word, one who takes risks almost obsessively with energy and relish… [a] dazzling collection.”
Library Journal
In this atmospheric 16-tale collection, National Book Award winner Oates once again draws audiences into her characters' frighteningly surreal yet ordinary lives. Actress/narrator Coleen Marlo (The Blind Spot) is equally adept at rendering both the male and the female voices, the foreign and regional accents. While the production quality of the audio is high overall, bookmarking is difficult with just three to four tracks per disc, and there is a lack of thought repetition between discs. Nonetheless, this is a well-read, enjoyable, and thought-provoking work sure to be in demand by Oates's fans and those into the surreal. ["A delicious boundary-crossing mix of literary artistry and genre-writing skill," read the review of the Ecco: HarperCollins hc, LJ 7/10.—Ed.]—Laurie Selwyn, formerly with Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062010728
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/14/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,134,339
File size:
863 KB

Meet the Author

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Princeton, New Jersey
Date of Birth:
June 16, 1938
Place of Birth:
Lockport, New York
Education:
B.A., Syracuse University, 1960; M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1961

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Sourland 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Sourland is a super anthology that focuses on the down side of relationships with the typical Joyce Carol Oates' themes of violence and loss leading to psychological traumas. This makes for a strong insightful collection with no losers. In "Pumpkin-Head", "Sourland," and "Probate" lonely susceptible widows having recently lost their protective mates and encounter an ugly new world order when males use them or the bureaucracy abuses them. In "Bonobo Momma", Ms. Oates turns upside down her usual lethal male when a rapacious former model is the nasty player. In haunting "Daddy Lost", mommy puts people to sleep at the medical clinic while daddy stays home after being downsized to watch over frightened little Tod. In "Honor Code", she knows her life is before and after cousin Sonny or more descriptive before and after manslaughter. Though printed in a variety of magazines in similar form, with these sixteen short stories, Ms. Oates provides a profound look at the dark side of relationships with beasts feasting and "Beating" on the vulnerable. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On special lists like this and others so we can also be spared dear harriet h though of course with a hh have no need to read the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These stories all seem like opening a book and reading a few pages. The words are there, there are some feelings conveys.. briefly? With no substance or anything else behind it. It was really terrible .I forced myself through it in hopes the stroies would tell any sort of story. They don't. I was very dissapointed by this rating.
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