In dramatic, tightly focused narratives charged with tension, menace, and the shock of the unexpected, Where Is Here? examines a world in which ordinary life is electrified by the potential for sudden change. Domestic violence, fear of abandonment and betrayal, and the obsession with loss shadow the characters that inhabit these startling, intriguing stories. With the precision and intensity that are the hallmarks of her remarkable talent, Joyce Carol Oates explores the unexpected turns of events that leave people vulnerable and struggling to puzzle out the consequences of their abrupt reversals of fortune. As in the title story, in which a married couple find their controlled life irrevocably altered by a stranger's visit, the fiction in this new collection is punctuated again and again by mysterious, perhaps unanswerable, questions: "Out of what does our life arise? Out of what does our consciousness arise? Why are we here? Where is here?" Like the questions they pose, these tales - at once elusive and direct - unfold with the enigmatic twists of riddles and, often, the blunt shock of tragedy. Where Is Here? is the work of a master practitioner of the short story.
Lethal -- Area man found crucified -- Imperial presidency -- Bare legs -- Turquoise -- Biopsy -- The date -- Angry -- The ice pick -- The mother -- Sweet! -- Forgive me! -- Transfigured night -- Actress -- The false mirror -- From the life of -- The heir -- Shot -- Letter, lover -- My madman -- Cuckold -- The escape -- Murder -- Insomnia -- Love, forever -- Old dog -- The artist -- The wig -- The maker of parables --Embrace -- Beauty salon -- Abandoned -- Running -- Pain -- Where is here?
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