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Joyce Carol Oates Message Board 1/1/2012
Talk about the novels, new and used books that Oates has written!

Author Oates's Book Reviews

A Bloodsmoor Romance
Despite its title, Joyce Carol Oates' novel is not a romance. Rather, it is a family history. The wealthy Zinn family has four natural daughters: Constance Phillipa, Malvinia, Octavia, and Samantha. They also have one adopted daughter, Diedre. One day at their wealthy aunts'outdoor garden party, Diedre wanders away from her sisters and is kidnapped by a mysterious figure in a black hot air balloon. Her sisters are able to see the crime, but are unable to...
Beasts
Gillian is a senior at a small New England collge. She is infatuated with her professor, Andre Harrow, and even though she knows that he has a history of becoming involved with his female students she works her way into his life and becomes facinated by his anti-establishment ideas, his artist wife, Dorcas, and the Bohemian lifestyle that they enjoy. Gillian embarks on an affair with both Andre and Dorcas, and she enters their strange, manipulative worl...
Big Mouth and Ugly Girl
Ursula and Matt become friends after he is accused of making a bomb threat at their surburban high school. Ursula is a misunderstood all star female high school athlete whose friend Matt is picked up in class by police accusing him of some serious crimes. Rumors circulate among the student body. Matt had a gun, a bomb, a weapon of some sort. He was disgruntled over a test grade, angry at teachers, and determined to take out as many people as possible. Ur...
Black Girl White Girl
At the age of eighteen, Minette Swift, an African American student from D.C. heads to Schuyler College in Pennsylvania. At the age of nineteen Minette is mysteriously killed in a fire on campus. It is now 1986 in the story and her college roommate Genna Hewett-Meade is consumed by the tragedy and the secrets associated with Minette's brutal death. The daughter of a minister and a merit scholar Minette was standoffish and prickly during her freshman year...

Oates booklist

Black Water
One Fourth of July, Kelly Keheller, a recent college graduate, is invited to a barbacue where she meets a senator whom she has always admired. The senator is attracted to the young Kelly and he offers her a ride home. Though Kelly suspects that he might have been drinking, she accepts. However, the car goes off a cliff, and in the final moments of her life, Kelly flashes back and remembers her life, her family, past lovers, and her ambiguous relationshi...
Blonde
Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates is a fictionalized depiction of the life of Marilyn Monroe. It tells the story of Norma Jeane Baker, a woman born to an unwed mother in 1926 who, after being taken into custody by her grandmother and eventually finding work as a pin up model, becomes the famed starlet immortalized today. Norma is raised by her grandmother, Della Monroe, after her own mother, Gladys, is unable. Though Della is an alcoholic, she takes care o...
Do With Me What You Will
Elena Howe has been manipulated all her life. Her mother married her off to an older man. She meets a younger man that awakens her sexually, and also yearns to control her. She ultimately has to make a decision that will change her life....
Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang
In a small town in upstate New York, during the 1950's a group of teenage girls realize that the odds in life are stacked against them. They come from low income families, and are treated poorly by the men, who seem to run the world. However, one girl, "Legs" Sandovsky decides to fight back. Seeing the special treatement that male gangs recieve from society and the law, Legs decides to form an all female gang, called Foxfire. In this gangs, grils...
The Gravedigger's Daughter
The Gravedigger's Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates tells the story of Jacob Schwart, a high school teacher, who, after fleeing Nazi Germany with his pregnant wife Anna and two sons, Herschel and August, end up arriving and making lives for themselves in the United States. Anna gives birth to a baby girl, Rebecca, while docked at the New York harbor. They are initially elated to have arrived but end up running into some harsh realities. Jobs are scarce an...
The Tattooed Girl
The Tattooed Girl by Joyce Carol Oates tells the tale of Joshua Seigl, a wealthy eccentric living in Carmel Heights, an upscale neighborhood in Rochester, New York, who, after meeting a young woman named Alma Busch, ends up drawn into a violent world in which sex, love, and anti-semitism are intertwined. The book begins with Seigl at thirty-eight years old. As a young man he published a book based on his parent's experiences in the Holocaust that went...

Joyce Carol Oates list of books

Them
This novel is the story of a working class detroit family. More specifically, it is the story of Maureen Wendell and her borther, Jules. As the book begins Maureen is young, beautiful, and determined to get out of the slums. Jules is also determined, but he sees crime as his way out. Their mother, Loretta was once young and beautiful, but by the age of sixteen she had gotten pregnant and lived the rest of her life fulll of regret. As the novel progresses...
We Were The Mulvaneys
The Mulvaneys have what appear to be a perfect life--four happy and out-going children, all successful in their own ways, growing up together on their idyllic New England farm. Then something happens to their daughter that changes not only her life, but shows how fragile their entire family relationship really is. ...
What I Lived For
Jerome "Corcky" Corchorn is a sucessful businessman and low level politician in his home town, Union City, New York. On the outside he has everything going for him. But over the course of one week-end must confront himself and his life. He has a divorce behind him, and an emotionally troubled step-daughter on the verge of destroying herself, and ruining his political career. He must come to terms with his father's murder years earlier, and his growing de...
Zombie
Quentin P. is a serial killer hidden in plain sight. Written in the style of a psychopath's personal journal (with scribbles, drawings, and strange digressions), Quentin P. is a convicted child molester. He is convicted of sexually assaulting a young black boy, and after his conviction (he pleads guilty at the advice of his lawyer who does not want the trial to become a charged with accusations of racism). His sentence is suspended, and Quentin becomes t...