Sourland 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, 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.


About Joyce Carol Oates

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Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. 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.
Published September 14, 2010 by HarperCollins e-books. 388 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sourland

Kirkus Reviews

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Even the better of these stories are blemished by contrivance and shrillness, as is even the volume’s rightful centerpiece, its title story, in which a woman still yearning for her recently deceased husband accepts an invitation to visit the latter’s sinister old acquaintance—a recluse who refers...

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The New York Times

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These ideas come to life — indeed, they haunt and shake you — in Oates’s throttlingly passionate prose, but it’s hard to describe them without reducing them to something bald and outlandish, even deranged.

Sep 17 2010 | Read Full Review of Sourland: Stories

Publishers Weekly

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Oates's latest collection explores certain favorite Oatesian themes, primary among them violence, loss, and privilege.

May 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Sourland: Stories

Book Reporter

“The Story of a Stabbing,” “The Beating,” “The Barter,” “Bounty Hunter” and “Honor Code” all have child protagonists or are the recollections of adults on defining childhood incidents.

Sep 14 2010 | Read Full Review of Sourland: Stories

Los Angeles Times

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Although American fiction offers few distinctive voices at present, there is no mistaking a Joyce Carol Oates story for anyone else's.

Oct 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Sourland: Stories

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

AUTHOR WEBSITE: Joyce Carol Oates EXTRAS: Excerpt MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: Read reviews of more Joyce Carol Oates books: Give Me Your Heart

Oct 14 2010 | Read Full Review of Sourland: Stories

Bookmarks Magazine

from a professor’s wife who finds herself tragically isolated at a party in her own house, 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 unp...

Sep 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Sourland: Stories

Kansas City Public Library

When she's not helping out patrons at the Library or devouring poetry and short stories, she can often be found handing out books on the Kansas City Metro bus system as a participant in the Mid-America Regional Council's Green Commute Challenge.

Nov 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Sourland: Stories

Chicago Tribune

“Death Certificate” uses a court house again (this time a county court house in upstate New York) as its setting, as if to suggest that even such a rigid and ordered place as this may spring forth dramas of sexual ferocity and strangeness: a woman has come to purchase a facsimile of a death certi...

Sep 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Sourland: Stories

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