The collector of hearts: new tales of the grotesque

Front Cover
Plume, 1999 - Fiction - 321 pages
In these twenty-five gothic horror tales from the master of the short story, Joyce Carol Oates explores the waking nightmares of life with eyes wide-open, facing what the bravest of us fear the most. From the Kafka-esque "Scars" to a ballad like tale of erotic obsession in "The Crossing, " to the mother-daughter bond given a fatal twist in "Death Mother" the stories in The Collector of Hearts illuminate the mysteries of the human experience -- both intellectual and visceral. It is a stunning and richly diverse anthology of mood and menace -- haunting, elegiac, and compulsively readable.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

THE COLLECTOR OF HEARTS: New Tales of the Grotesque

User Review  - Kirkus

Oates's newest collection (and, to nobody's surprise, second major work of fiction this year) intriguingly revisits the "gothic" terrain surveyed in such earlier volumes as Night-Side (1977) and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sorell - LibraryThing

Collector of Hearts is another short story collection that centers around grotesque characters and plots. Despite the similarity with themes in Haunted, Collector of the Hearts pales in comparison. In ... Read full review


The Sky Blue Ball
The Handpuppet
Schroeders Stepfather

6 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

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.

Bibliographic information