Where Is Here by Joyce Carol Oates

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In dramatic, tightly focused narratives charges with tension, menace, and the shock of the unexpected, Where Is Here? examines a world in which ordinary life is electrified by the potential for sudden change. Domestic violence, fear and abandonment and betrayal, and the obsession with loss shadow the characters that inhabit these startling, intriguing stories. With the precision and intensity that are the hallmarks of her remarkable talent, Joyce Carol Oates explores the unexpected turns of events that leave people vulnerable and struggling to puzzle out the consequences of their abrupt reversals of fortune.

As in the title story, in which a married couple find their controlled life irrevocably altered by a stranger's visit, the fiction in this new collection is punctuated again and again by mysterious, perhaps unanswerable, questions: "Out of what does our life arise? Out of what does our consciousness arise? Why are we here? Where is here?" Like the questions they pose, these tales -- at once elusive and direct -- unfold with the enigmatic twists of riddles and, often, the blunt shock of tragedy. Where is Here? is the work of a master practitioner of the short story.

 

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 21, 1992 by Ecco. 203 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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While the briefest among the 34 remain too fragmentary to be engaging, it takes only two or three pages for Oates's prose to reach a captivating energy: as in the leisurely, wistful meditations of those close to death (the writer in "From the Life Of...";

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The 35 stories in this exciting collection dramatize electrifying encounters and characters seized by heightened emotions, revealing them with inventiveness and boundless stylistic variety. Many of th

Nov 02 1992 | Read Full Review of Where Is Here

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In her 17th collection of short fiction, Oates ( With Shuddering Fall ) retrieves stories from her first six, as well as two stories not previously published in book form.

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The literary and the lurid go hand in hand in several of the more major pieces, including Oates's well-known New York Review of Books essay on the creative urges of serial killers (""I Had No Other Thrill or Happiness""), and a piece on fairy tales and their female reinterpreters, featuring Anne ...

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But when he spies a family of foxes, he is emboldened by the fact that the cubs share his burnt-orange coloring, the kitten is soon scampering through the forest with his new friends.

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``Forgive Me'' and ``Letter, Lover'' stretch the epistolary mode: in the one, a woman inscribes the same letter to two former lovers, unable to keep them apart in her mind, in the other, obscenely sinister missives open the door to a new relationship.

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