Broke Heart Blues by Joyce Carol Oates

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In the tradition of We Were the Mulvaneys, a penetrating look at the burden of celebrity and the making of American myths. Brando. Dean. John Reddy Heart is right up there among them--at least in the eyes of the residents of Willowsville, New York. The handsome young heartthrob begins his bad boy career at sixteen, the night that a man is murdered in his mother's house. Was John Reddy protecting her from rape or covering up her crime, or is he actually innocent? It may not matter--the minute the manhunt starts, the second the sensational trial begins, John Reddy Heart is front-page news, celebrated in song, and well on his way to becoming a small town's obsession. The always inventive Oates has struck upon a truly innovative way to tell this uniquely American story. The novel is narrated by a chorus of Willowsville voices, a collective "we" that revels in its obsession with John Reddy Heart. Stretching from the 1960s through the 90s, set in the same America as Oates' masterpiece We Were the Mulvaneys, Broke Heart Blues is an epic achievement.

About Joyce Carol Oates

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Joyce Carol Oates is one of our most important and well known writers--and one of America's foremost writers of the short story form. She is also a regular contributor of reviews and criticism for the New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and elsewhere. She also reads and lectures widely throughout the US, at universities and bookstores.
Published January 1, 1999 by Virago Press. 502 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Huge, humorous, manic and multi-layered, Oates's 29th novel will rank high among the best work she has produced in her prolific career. In 1967, John Reddy Heart--a 16-year-old, James Dean-like white-

Jun 28 1999 | Read Full Review of Broke Heart Blues

Set in the 1960s, it "deals with murder and a family idealized and ostracized -- " familiar Oates turf -- "but mostly it's about kids and innocence," said Oates.

Jan 20 2017 | Read Full Review of Broke Heart Blues

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