Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque

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Plume, 1995 - Fiction - 310 pages
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Novelist, poet, dramatist and author of many of the best American short stories of our time, Joyce Carol Oates shows yet another aspect of her unbounded creativity in these tales of the grotesque. Haunted, a collection of sixteen tales that range from classic ghost stories to portrayals of chilling psychological terror, raises the genre to the level of fine literature - complex, multi-layered, and gripping fiction that is very scary indeed. In the title story, "Haunted, " the pubescent Melissa and her best friend, the sexually precocious Mary Lou, ignore "no trespassing" signs to explore forbidden houses. But the deserted Minton farm is one place where they should not have gone, and years later Melissa is tormented by her memories of its malevolence...and the murder of Mary Lou. In the novella, "The Model, " a sexual threat seems to underlie the interaction between young Sybil Blake and "Mr. Starr, " who asks her to be his model, but the truth about her own identity, and his, shows that the danger is lurking in a different part of the heart. The "Accursed Inhabitants of the House of Bly, " a macabre reworking of Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw, " resurrects the evil of Miss Jessel and Quint, who are up to their old tricks with the children, Miles and Flora, but with new, perverse, and brilliant revelations. The tales in this collection plunge the reader into nightmare worlds where violence slips in unexpectedly, where reality turns into a funhouse mirror, and where American culture goes awry in shocking, provocative ways. Joyce Carol Oates is a master storyteller of the dark side. She writes with skillfully controlled prose, tightly woven plots, and deep psychological insight that m her fictional horror worthy to set alongside the stories of Edgar Allan Poe - and far above all the rest.

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HAUNTED: Tales of the Grotesque

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Surging intensity floods nearly every page of Oates's 18th hardcover collection (Where Is Here?, 1992, etc. etc.), these devoted to explorations of the grotesque. It's not as if Oates needs the ... Read full review

Haunted: tales of the grotesque

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

From the first rank of American writers comes this anthology of 16 short stories and a short essay on the literary lineage of horror fiction and the grotesque. The stories, written between 1980 and ... Read full review


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About the author (1995)

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.

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