A wildly inventive new collection ofstories by Joyce Carol Oates that chartsthe surprising ways in which the worldwe think we know can unexpectedlyreveal its darker contours
The New York Times has hailed Joyce Carol Oates as "adangerous writer in the best sense of the word, one whotakes risks almost obsessively with energy and relish."Black Dahlia & White Rose, a collection of eleven previouslyuncollected stories, showcases the keen rewards ofOates's relentless brio and invention. In one beautifullyhoned story after another, Oates explores the menace thatlurks at the edges of and intrudes upon even the seeminglysafest of lives—and maps with rare emotional acuity thetransformational cost of such intrusions.
Unafraid to venture into no-man's-lands both real andsurreal, Oates takes readers deep into dangerous territory,from a maximum-security prison—vividly delineatingthe heartbreaking and unexpected atmosphere of such aninstitution—to the inner landscapes of two beautiful andmysteriously doomed young women in 1940s Los Angeles:Elizabeth Short, otherwise known as the Black Dahlia,victim of a long-unsolved and particularly brutal murder,and her roommate Norma Jeane Baker, soon to becomeMarilyn Monroe. Whether exploring the psychologicalcompulsion of the wife of a well-to-do businessman whois ravished by, and elopes with, a lover who is not what heseems or the uneasily duplicitous relationships betweenyoung women and their parents, Black Dahlia & White Roseexplores the compelling intertwining of dread and desire,the psychic pull and trauma of domestic life, and resonatesat every turn with Oates's mordant humor and hertrenchant observation.
“[A] masterfully honed collection of dark tales… With precision and force, the ever-mesmerizing Oates rips open the scrim of ordinariness to expose the chaos that undermines every human notion of control, reason, and sanctuary.”
“This latest collection... showcases [Oates’s] talent for imbuing mundane events with menace and the kind of irony that springs from narrow brushes with disaster… Oates’ hypnotic prose ensures that readers will be unable to look away.”
“A mesmerizing storyteller who seems almost unnaturally able to enter the tormented inner lives of her characters.”
Black Dahlia & White Rose is a brilliant collection of short fiction from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates, one of the most acclaimed writers of our time. These stores, at once lyrical and unsettling, shine with the author’s trademark fascination with finding the unpredictable amidst the prosaic—from her imaginative recreation of friendship between two tragically doomed young women (Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Short), to the tale of an infidelity as deeply human as it is otherworldly. Black Dahlia & White Rose is a major offering from one of the most important artists in contemporary American literature; a superb collection that showcases Joyce Carol Oates’s ferocious energy and darkly imaginative storytelling power.