You must remember this

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Plume, Nov 1, 1998 - Fiction - 436 pages
129 Reviews
Joyce Carol Oates's epic novel of an American family in the 1950's probes the tender division between the permissible and the forbidden, between ordinary life and the secret places of the heart. Set in an industrial, working-class town in upstate New York, this book chronicles the frustrating marriage of parents Lyle and Hannah; the idealistic political journey of son Warren, and the passionate, obsessive relationship that develops between 15-year-old Enid Maria and her uncle Felix, a professional boxer twice her age. While brilliantly re-creating a decade that worshipped conformity, "You Must Remember This" presents the lives of family members that break every convention in the search for meaning and fulfillment.

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User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

A deep, moving and fascinating portrayal of a family in the mid-1950s. Ms. Oates is a very good writer and she is really able to evoke a sense of time and place. Most importantly, she gives us complex ... Read full review

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I love JCO, always have and always will. This was awful though--i quit reading it when Warren rescued the crazy Miriam chick or whoever it was. The subject matter at first did not put me off, but as Enid kept falling crazier in lust with her uncle I got to where I couldn't stomach anymore of it. I think JCO was trying to do too many things at once, plus I don't think she researched the effects of sexual abuse and incest well enough. Her short stories, particularly from the 60s, are excellent, and short stories are what I wish she'd stick to. This was the third novel of hers I've tried to read (the slly Assassins and the choppy Bellefleur being the other two)/I will not being reading another one of her novels--i'll stick to her short stories from now on.  



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About the author (1998)

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. Her title Give Me Your Heart made the New York Times Best seller list for 2011.

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