Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wild Nights! by Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is one of those authors I have been meaning to read for a while now. About two years ago, I read her short story "Where are you going, Where have you been?". It was disturbing, but it is also one of those stories that just stuck with me. The disturbing effect it had on me as a reader was a really new experience for me. I had never read anything like it. So, this past summer I checked out one of her novels from my local library. I'm ashamed to say that I couldn't finish it. Maybe it was too raw, too real? I don't know how to explain the effects her writing seems to have on me.

Fortunately, the next work I read by Oates, I thoroughly enjoyed! Wild Nights: Stories about the Last Days of Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James, and Hemingway is a collection of five short stories that combine fact and fiction to recount the final days of these famous writers. These stories are disturbing but oh so captivating as well! Some are even absurd! Oates also cleverly employs the writing styles of the authors which she features in the stories. And, if you like analyzing what you've read, there are some amazing connections one can draw between the various stories. . .an English major's dream!

If you enjoy short stories or have an interest in any of these five authors, I think you would enjoy reading this collection as well.

If you have read these stories, what effect did they have on you?

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