From literary icon Joyce Carol Oates comes a brand new collection of haunting and, at times, darkly humorous mystery and suspense stories.
These are tales of psyches pushed to their limits by the expectations of everyday life – from a woman who gets lost on her drive back to her plush suburban home and ends up breaking into a stranger's house, to a first-person account of a cloned 1940s magazine pinup girl being sold at auction and embodying America's ideals of beauty and womanhood.
Taken as a whole, the collection forms a poignant tapestry of regular people searching for their place in a social hierarchy, often with devastating and disastrous results. Rendered with stylish, fresh writing from an author who continues to push the envelope, the stories deftly weave in and out of a stream-of-consciousness to reflect the ways we process traumatic experiences and impart that uncertainty and uneasiness to the reader.
Originally appearing in publications as disparate as Harper's, Vice, and Conjunctions, the stories comprising Night, Neon showcase Oates' mastery of the suspense story – and her relentless use of the form to conduct unapologetically honest explorations of American identity.
'Embracing the twists and turns of everyday American life, the author's latest short story collection is playful, gripping and disturbing.' Guardian
'Both haunting and sublime' Literary Review.
'An unsettling read worth every resulting jump in the night... [Oates is a] literary goddess' Daily Mail.
'As usual with Oates, it is horribly readable, but driven by something disturbingly like genuine misanthropy' Sunday Times.
'Oates chillingly depicts the darkness lurking within the everyday' Sunday Express.
'A writer of extraordinary strengths' Guardian.
'Oates's brand of horror has never required the invocation of other worlds: This world is terrible enough for her. Everything she writes, in whatever genre, has an air of dread, because she deals in vulnerabilities and inevitabilities, in the desperate needs that drive people [...] to their fates. A sense of helplessness is the essence of horror, and Oates conveys that feeling as well as any writer around' New York Times Book Review