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Sourland: Stories Paperback – June 21, 2011
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“...Innovative, brilliant...there are sentences that leave a deeply sensuous pleasure in their wake...” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“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.” (Publishers Weekly)
“...Vivid...the work reflects a delicious boundary-crossing mix of literary artistry and genre-writing skill...This famously prolific writer continues to surprise us, and that in itself is something to celebrate.” (Library Journal)
“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.” (New York Times)
“Oates is just a fearless writer. . . with her brave heart and her impossibly lush and dead-on imaginative powers.” (Los Angeles Times)
“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.” (Buffalo News)
“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.” (Los Angeles Times)
From the Back Cover
Joyce Carol Oates is not only one of our most important novelists and literary critics, she is also an unparalleled master of the short story. Sourland—sixteen previously uncollected stories that explore the power of violence, loss, and grief to shape the psyche as well as the soul—shows us an author working at the height of her powers.
With lapidary precision and an unflinching eye, Oates maps the surprising contours of “ordinary” life, from a desperate man who dons a jack-o'-lantern head as a prelude to a most curious sort of courtship to a beguiling young woman librarian whose amputee state attracts a married man and father; from a girl hopelessly in love with her renegade, incarcerated cousin to the concluding title story of an unexpectedly redemptive love rooted in radical aloneness and isolation. Each story in Sourland resonates beautifully with Oates's trademark fascination for the unpredictable amid the prosaic—the commingling of sexual love and violence, the tumult of family life—and shines with her predilection for dark humor and her gift for voice.
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for a long time. Her ability to write, is a tool
for, going into another world, so to speak.
Her writings, take me to a greater depth, of
human interaction, life, suffering, seeking
peace in a bazaar world. Joyce Carol Oates,
John Irving, John Steinbeck, Russell Banks,
our masters of the experiences of life,
Top international reviews
In this collection the subject matter covers widowhood , grief and the slow reconciliation with life again All sympathetically conveyed by Oates , So with past experience of this author you have go ask what is she setting the reader up for next ?
And sure enough she delivers as she sends her sedate, cashmere -clad, tentatively emerging widows off on dates from hell with pumpkin heads and disfigured recluses. It couldn't go more wrong .Is this why I found the title story so wickedly funny ? Disturbing black humour, it reminds me of Joan Rivers .
The edgy short stories in Sourland are as usual populated with odd lone wolf type characters and often end in a such a way as to have one thinking for days about what the ending truly meant. Thank goodness she is such a prolific writer and there is still so much more of her work yet to read.