Because it is Bitter, and Because it is My Heart

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Dutton, 1990 - Fiction - 405 pages
Joyce Carol Oates adds to her extraordinary body of work with this stunning novel of violence and love. At the heart of the story are two people, Iris Courtney, who is white, and handsome Jinx Fairchild, the black basketball player who, in protecting Iris, kills a white man. Iris is the only witness to the crime. The two of them are growing up in the early 1950s in a New York industrial town where racial boundaries keep people apart-or bring them together in explosive scenes of fear or desire. The secret link between Iris and Jinx is not only their attraction to each other, but a murder ... and a bond of passion and guilt is formed between them. How this one irrevocable, tragic act shapes their lives and alters their destinies becomes Joyce Carol Oates' finest, emotion-packed novel-a work the critics are calling a masterpiece, the best work of America's best writer of contemporary realism.

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User Review  - mausergem - LibraryThing

The novel is set in the late 1950's and early 60's in Hammond and Seracuse, New York. Gracie Curtney is a white girl coming from a dysfunctional household with a gambler father and an alcoholic mother ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ImperfectCJ - LibraryThing

I almost gave this book 5 stars. After taking a while to warm up to the story and almost putting it aside a few times, I found that after about 150 pages, I couldn't put it down. During those first ... Read full review

Contents

The Body
3
Torsion
119
Ceremony
267
Copyright

1 other sections not shown

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About the author (1990)

Joyce Carol Oates was born on June 16, 1938 in Lockport, New York. She received a bachelor's degree in English from Syracuse University and a master's degree in English from the University of Wisconsin. She is the author of numerous novels and collections of short stories. Her works include We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, Bellefleur, You Must Remember This, Because It Is Bitter, Because It Is My Heart, Solstice, Marya : A Life, and Give Me Your Heart. She has received numerous awards including the National Book Award for Them, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Lifetime Achievement in American Literature. She was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with her title Lovely, Dark, Deep. She also wrote a series of suspense novels under the pseudonym Rosamond Smith. In 2015, her novel The Accursed became listed as a bestseller on the iBooks chart. She worked as a professor of English at the University of Windsor, before becoming the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. She and her late husband Raymond J. Smith operated a small press and published a literary magazine, The Ontario Review.

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