Assignation

Joyce Carol Oates, Author, Oates, Author Ecco $16.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-88001-200-3
In 44 short narratives ranging in length from a simple paragraph of five sentences to a dozen pages at most, Oates has captured precisely an essential presence and instant in the lives of her characters. These short takes offer brilliant bursts of energy that are both dazzling and disappointing for their ephemeral nature. From ``Two Doors,'' in which an old man is reminded of the moment in his youth when he accidently intruded on a half-dressed female relative, to ``Anecdote,'' in which a woman isn't quite convinced that the man who failed to acknowledge her on the street is not her lover, Oates's focus is on moments of consciousness. In ``Tick,'' a woman whose husband has left her is tranquil and self-sufficient, resisting ``the temptation to succumb to thoughts of despair, self-hatred. Easier, she thinks, to hate yourself than to respect yourself; it involves less imagination.'' But when she discovers a tick embedded in her scalp she loses her independence to such a degree that she now longs for a reconciliation, and even a baby. As always, there is an edge to Oates's prose, and even when there is no central disturbance, the calm is uneasy, as though eruption may be imminent. Logical as daydreams, with endings similarly as interrupted or unforeseen, these stories reveal a master of the form writing at her efficient, full-tilt best. (September)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-88001-440-3
Paperback - 195 pages - 978-0-06-097246-2
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.