Will You Always Love Me? and Other Stories

Will You Always Love Me? and Other Stories

by Joyce Carol Oates
     
 

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Obsession with loss, fear of betrayal, and sudden violence plague the characters who inhabit Oates' haunting fiction. Twenty-four stories take readers from inner cities to isolated backwaters, as Oates displays the full range of her imaginative powers in a collection that shocks, provokes, and astounds with its unexpected turns of events and their profound commentary

Overview

Obsession with loss, fear of betrayal, and sudden violence plague the characters who inhabit Oates' haunting fiction. Twenty-four stories take readers from inner cities to isolated backwaters, as Oates displays the full range of her imaginative powers in a collection that shocks, provokes, and astounds with its unexpected turns of events and their profound commentary on the human condition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The 22 intensely imagined, haunting stories in Oates's (American Appetites ) 19th anthology of reprinted short fiction mine her familiar territory-gothic, supernatural atmospheres, doppelgngers, icily estranged couples locked in mortal psychological combat. Oates's genius is to open with the seemingly mundane, then gradually escalate to a pitch of horrific revelation. Outstanding is ``American Abroad,'' in which an art historian is honored in a foreign city by a host whom terrorists have targeted, while she herself is bizarrely, psychologically targeted by the host's daughter. Some stories successfully cover entire lives: in ``The Passion of Rydcie Mather,'' schoolbus driver Rydcie (for Eurydice, who visited Hades) ragingly defies the God who ``forced'' her into heroic action to save a drowning girl; her revenge is appropriately apocalyptic. ``The Mark of Satan'' features an innocently voluptuous door-to-door evangelist and her small daughter preaching like toy dolls to a gritty ex-con who drugs them and plots their rape before accidentally causing his own bloody mutilation. Bodily disintegration is a menace to Oates characters, who variously endure tumors, palsies, strokes, a brain fissure, child abuse. Her baroque imagination, her ability to convey the depths of violence and evil lying just below a thin veneer of civilization, gives her stories a chilling dimension. (Feb.)
Library Journal
This marvelous collection examines the usually hidden but often destructive underside of relationships. In "The Revenge of the Foot, 1970," a young college student is hopelessly in love with her married professor lover. A lonely middle-aged woman will do anything to gain the love of her stepdaughter in "The Girl Who Was To Die." And "American Abroad" is the poignant tale of a dignified woman art historian on a lecture tour of Europe who is delighted by an enthusiastic young woman's offer to show her Amsterdam's museums, only to be mortified by the extent of her disappointment when the would-be guide doesn't keep the date. These tightly drawn, insightful, and compulsively readable stories by the enormously talented and prolific Oates (Zombie, LJ 8/95) belong in all fiction collections. Highly recommended.-Patricia Ross, Westerville P.L., Ohio

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525939726
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
02/28/1996
Pages:
326
Product dimensions:
6.33(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.15(d)

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