A Bloodsmoor Romance

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 22, 2013 - Fiction - 768 pages
2 Reviews

Finally returned to print, Joyce Carol Oates's lost classic: the satirical, often surreal, and beautifully plotted Gothic romance that follows the exploits of the audacious Zinn sisters, whose nineteenth-century pursuit of adventurous lives turns a lens on contemporary American culture

When their sister is plucked from the shores of the Bloodsmoor River by an eerie black-silk hot air balloon that sails in through a clear blue sky, the lives of the already extraordinary Zinn sisters are radically altered. The monstrous tragedy splinters the family, who must not only grapple with the mysterious and shameful loss of their sister and daughter but also seek their way forward in the dawn of a new era—one that includes time machines, the spirit world, and the quest for women's independence.

Breathlessly narrated in the Victorian style by an unnamed narrator who is herself shocked and disgusted by the Zinn sisters' sexuality, impulsivity, and rude rejection of the mores of the time, the novel is a delicious filigree of literary conventions, "a novel of manners" in the tradition of Austen, Dickens, and Alcott, which Oates turns on its head. Years ahead of its time, A Bloodsmoor Romance touches on murder and mayhem, ghosts and abductions, substance abuse and gender identity, women's suffrage, the American spiritualist movement, and sexual aberration, as the Zinn sisters come into contact with some of the nineteenth century's greatest characters, from Mark Twain to Oscar Wilde.

Pure Oates in its mordant wit, biting assessment of the American landscape, and virtuosic transformation of a literary genre we thought we knew, A Bloodsmoor Romance is a compelling, hilarious, and magical antiromance, a Little Women wickedly recast for the present day.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

A BLOODSMOOR ROMANCE

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Oates did her morbid, verbose thing with The Great American Family Saga in Bellefleur (1980). Now, with somewhat more control and a slightly lighter touch, she offers her parody/version of a 19th ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LauraJWRyan - LibraryThing

Wow...well, my goodness, this one is downright odd, at times bizarre, yet delightful with language that is unique and contemplative, beautiful at the same time as grotesque, and loaded with ... Read full review

Contents

FOUR
EIGHT
ELEVEN
THIRTEEN
FOURTEEN
FIFTEEN SIXTEEN
EIGHTEEN
NINETEEN
TWENTYONE
TWENTYTWO
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. Her most recent novel is A Book of American Martyrs. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

Bibliographic information