Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating Circumstances

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By Joyce Carol Oates

ISBN: 9781804540794

Published: 10 Nov 2022

A collection of twenty-two disturbing tales of crime and suspense from literary icon Joyce Carol Oates, author of Blonde and 'America's preeminent fiction writer' (New Yorker). Two hitmen in a depressed rust belt town struggle with a job gone wrong. A girl witnesses a horrifying accident and carries it with her for the rest of her life.

Medical students bring a severed foot to a college party. Five-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Joyce Carol Oates has made a career of exploring the forbidden corners of human experience, and the stories collected here, spanning her first three decades as a writer, are among her most unsettling and unforgettable works to date. Originally published in long out-of-print volumes, these tales have not appeared in any form this century - until now.

They show a writer boldly engaging with disturbing truths and terrifying possibilities, and deconstructing the tropes and expectations of traditional prose writing as she does so. But beyond their stylistic ingenuity, these are creepy, suspenseful stories that cut straight to the bone; their darkness will linger long after the final page is turned. A must-read for long-time fans of Joyce Carol Oates and an excellent introduction for the uninitiated.

Reviews for Joyce Carol Oates:

'Oates chillingly depicts the darkness lurking within the everyday.' Sunday Express

'Both haunting and sublime.' Literary Review

'Splendidly chilling.' Financial Times

'Visceral, psychologically involving, and socially astute.' Booklist