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.
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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...";| Read Full Review of Where Is Here
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 thNov 02 1992 | Read Full Review of Where Is Here
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 ...| Read Full Review of Where Is Here
``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.| Read Full Review of Where Is Here