A Garden of Earthly Delights (Google eBook)

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Random House Publishing Group, Mar 25, 2009 - Fiction - 432 pages
22 Reviews
Joyce Carol Oates’s Wonderland Quartet comprises four remarkable novels that explore social class in America and the inner lives of young Americans. In A Garden of Earthly Delights, Oates presents one of her most memorable heroines, Clara Walpole, the beautiful daughter of Kentucky-born migrant farmworkers. Desperate to rise above her haphazard existence of violence and poverty, determined not to repeat her mother’s life, Clara struggles for independence by way of her relationships with four very different men: her father, a family man turned itinerant laborer, smoldering with resentment; the mysterious Lowry, who rescues Clara as a teenager and offers her the possibility of love; Revere, a wealthy landowner who provides Clara with stability; and Swan, Clara’s son, who bears the psychological and spiritual burden of his mother’s ambition.

A masterly work from a writer with “the uncanny ability to give us a cinemascopic vision of her America” (National Review), A Garden of Earthly Delights is the opening stanza in what would become one of the most powerful and engrossing story arcs in literature.

A Garden of Earthly Delights is the first novel in the Wonderland Quartet. The books that complete this acclaimed series, Expensive People, them, and Wonderland, are also available from the Modern Library.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Review: A Garden of Earthly Delights (Wonderland Quartet #1)

User Review  - Kyla Carlson - Goodreads

3.5 stars. I'm torn on this one. I almost always enjoy Oates because her writing is so incredible and unique. The early parts of this book reminded me of Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath in particular), but ... Read full review

Review: A Garden of Earthly Delights (Wonderland Quartet #1)

User Review  - Diana - Goodreads

This is the best of many JCO novels I've read. It's Grapes of Wrath told from the point of view of a young girl and her long journey to womanhood. The moral lessons are less simplistic,and the writing holds up to Steinbeck. Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Joyce Carol Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Professor in the Humanities at Princeton University. She is the author of numerous works of fiction and poetry, as well as books of essays, criticism, and plays. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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