A garden of earthly delights

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Vanguard Press, 1967 - Fiction - 440 pages
7 Reviews
"In her second novel, Joyce Carol Oates created one of her most memorable heroines, Clara, the beautiful daughter of migrant farmworkers. Intent upon rising above her haphazard life of violence and poverty, Clara struggles for independence while relying on four men to fashion her destiny: her father, a hardened laborer simmering with resentment; Lowry, who rescues the teenage Clara from her family and offers her a first glimpse of love; Revere, the wealthy married man who promises Clara stability; and Swan, Clara's son, who bears the burden of his mother's mistaken identity."--BOOK JACKET.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - yougotamber - LibraryThing

While reading this, I was unsure of where Oates was going with it, normally the books I have read so far have been shocking. This was so far different from what I was expecting and surprisingly I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RDHawk6886 - LibraryThing

Dickens-noir. Reminescient of Great Expectations, it's a tale of how the main character, Clara, goes from dirt poor to elite rich and a glimpse into the personality that is capable of making that leap ... Read full review

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About the author (1967)

Joyce Carol Oates was born in 1938 in Upstate, New York. She attended Syracuse University and graduated as Valedictorian. She then attended University of Wisconsin where she earned an M. A. By the time she was 47 years old, she had published at least that many separate books, including 16 full-length novels and more than a dozen collections of short stories. Some of her works were done under the pseudonym Rosamund Smith. She has also written numerous poems collected in several volumes, at least three plays, many critical essays, and articles and reviews on various subjects while fulfilling her obligations as a professor of English at the University of Windsor, where with her husband Raymond Smith she edited the Ontario Review, which the couple has continued since moving to Princeton in 1978. She has earned a reputation as indubitably one of our most prolific writers and very likely one of our best. Her fiction alone demonstrates considerable variety, ranging from direct naturalism to complex experiments in form. However, what chiefly makes her work her own is a quality of psychological realism, an uncanny ability to bring to the surface an underlying sense of foreboding or a threat of violence that seems to lurk just around the corner from the everyday domestic lives she depicts so realistically. Her first six novels, including Them (1969), which won the National Book Award, express these qualities in varying ways. she is also the recipient of an NEA grant, a Guggenheim fellowship, the PEN/Malamud Lifetime Achievement Award, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Lifetime Achievement in American Literature. She resides in New Jersey.