Modern Library, 1969 - Fiction - 546 pages
Winner of the National Book Award and in print for more than thirty years, them ranks as one of the most masterly portraits of postwar America ever written by a novelist. Including several new pages and text substantially revised and updated by the author, this Modern Library edition is the most current and accurate version available of Oates' seminal work.
A novel about class, race, and the horrific, glassy sparkle of urban life, them chronicles the lives of the Wendalls, a family on the steep edge of poverty in the windy, riotous Detroit slums. Loretta, beautiful and dreamy and full of regret by age sixteen, and her two children, Maureen and Jules, make up Oates' vision of the American fam-ily--broken, marginal, and romantically proud. The novel's title, pointedly uncapitalized, refers to those Americans who inhabit the outskirts of society--men and women, mothers and children--whose lives many authors in the 1960s had left unexamined. Alfred Kazin called her subject "the sheer rich chaos of American life." The Nation wrote, "When Miss Oates' potent, life-gripping imagination and her skill at narrative are conjoined, as they are preeminently in them, she is a prodigious writer."
In addition to the text revisions, this--new edition contains an Afterword by the author and a new Introduction by Greg Johnson, Oates' biographer and the author of two monographs on the work of Joyce Carol Oates.
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afraid arms asked baby bastard began Bernard Betty blood body boy friend Brock crazy cried dark Detroit dirty bastard dollars door dream dress driving electric chair everything eyes face father Faye feel Furlong girl goddam going Grandma Wendall Grosse Pointe hair hands happened hated head hear hell Howard inside Jesus Joyce Carol Oates Jules felt Jules thought Jules's kids kill kind kitchen knew laughed leaned live look Loretta Madame Bovary Mama Wendall married Maureen mind Mort mother move Nadine Negro never nigger night remember Samson seemed sick sidewalk silent Sister sitting sleep slowly smile someone sometimes stared strange street talk tell things took tried trouble turned University of Detroit waiting walked watching What's window woman wondered Woodward Avenue