Stories About the Last Days of Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James, and Hemingway
On Sale: May 5, 2008
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Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Samuel Clemens ("Mark
Twain"), Henry James, Ernest Hemingwayâ€”Joyce Carol Oates
evokes each of these American literary icons in her newest
work of prose fiction, poignantly and audaciously
reinventing the climactic events of their lives. In subtly
nuanced language suggestive of each of these writers, Oates
explores the mysterious regions of the unknowable self that
is "genius"â€”for Edgar Allan Poe, a belated encounter with
bizarre life‑forms utterly alien to the poet's exalted
Romantic aesthetics; for Emily Dickinson, resurrected in
the twenty-first century in a "distilled" state, a belated
encounter with blundering humanity and brute passion of a
kind excluded from the poet's verse; for the elderly,
renowned Samuel Clemens, a belated encounter with
impassioned innocence, in the form of "the little girl who
loves you"; for Henry James, an aging volunteer in a London
hospital during World War I, a belated encounter with the
physicality of desire and the raw yearning of love long
absent from the master's fiction; and, for Ernest
Hemingway, the most tragic of these figures, a belated
encounter with the "profound mysteries of the world outside
him, and the profound mysteries of the world inside him."
Wild Nights! is Joyce Carol Oates's most original and
haunting work of the imagination, a writer's memoirist work
in the form of fiction.
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