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American Gothic Tales (96 Edition)


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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

Joyce Carol Oates has a special perspective on the “gothic” in American short fiction, at least partially because her own horror yarns rank on the spine-tingling chart with the masters. She is able to see the unbroken link of the macabre that ties Edgar Allan Poe to Anne Rice and to recognize the dark psychological bonds between Henry James and Stephen King. This remarkable anthology of gothic fiction, spanning two centuries of American writing, gives us an intriguing and entertaining look at how the gothic imagination makes for great literature in the works of forty-six exceptional writers.

In showing us the gothic vision—a world askew where mankind’s forbidden impulses are set free from the repressions of the psyche, and nature turns malevolent and lawless—Joyce Carol Oates includes Henry James’s “The Romance of Certain Old Clothes,” Herman Melville’s horrific tale of factory women, “The Tartarus of Maids,” and Edith Wharton’s “Afterward,” which are rarely collected and appear together here for the first time.

Added to these stories of the past are new ones that explore the wounded worlds of Stephen King, Anne Rice, Peter Straub, Raymond Carver, and more than twenty other wonderful contemporary writers. This impressive collection reveals the astonishing scope of the gothic writer’s subject matter, style, and incomparable genius for manipulating our emotions and penetrating our dreams. With Joyce Carol Oates’s superb introduction, American Gothic Tales is destined to become the standard one-volume edition of the genre that American writers, if they didn’t create it outright, have brought to its chilling zenith.


Featuring contributions by Irving, Hawthorne, Poe, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and many others, this definitive collection of chilling American fiction includes more than 40 of the best examples of the genre.

About the Author

In addition to many prize-winning and bestselling novels, including We Were the Mulvaneys, Black Water, and Because It Is Bitter and Because It Is My Heart (available in Plume editions), Joyce Carol Oates is the author of a number of works of gothic fiction including Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque (Plume), a 1995 World Fantasy Award nominee; and Zombie (Plume), winner of the 1996 Bram Stoker Award for Best Horror Novel, awarded by the Horror Writers' Association. In 1994, Oates received the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award in Horror Fiction. She is the editor of American Gothic Tales and her latest novel is Broke Heart Blues (Dutton). She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Table of Contents


Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810), from Wieland, or the Transformation

Washington Irving (1783-1859), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), The Man of Adamant, Young Goodman Brown

Herman Melville (1819-1891), The Tartarus of Maids

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), The Black Cat

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), The Yellow Wallpaper

Henry James (1843-1916), The Romance of Certain Old Clothes

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?), The Damned Thing

Edith Wharton (1862-1937), Afterward

Gertrude Atherton (1857-1948), The Striding Place

Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941), Death in the Woods

H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), The Outsider

William Faulkner (1893-1962), A Rose for Emily

August Derleth (1909-1971), The Lonesome Place

E.B. White (1899-1985), The Door

Shirley Jackson (1919-1965), The Lovely House

Paul Bowles (1910- ), Allal

Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991), The Reencounter

William Goyen (1915-1983), In the Icebound Hothouse

John Cheever (1912-1982), The Enormous Radio

Ray Bradbury (1920- ), The Veldt

W.S. Merwin (1927- ), The Dachau Shoe, the Approved, Spiders I Have Known, Postcards from the Maginot Line

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams

Robert Coover (1932- ), In Bed One Night

Ursula K. LeGuin (1929- ), Schrödinger's Cat

E.L. Doctorow (1931- ), The Waterworks

Harlan Ellison (1934- ), Shattered Like a Glass Goblin

Don DeLillo (1936- ), Human Moments in World War III

John L'Heureux (1938- ), The Anatomy of Desire

Raymond Carver (1938-1988), Little Things

Joyce Carol Oates (1938- ), The Temple

Anne Rice (1941- ), Freniere

Peter Straub (1943- ), A Short Guide to the City

Steven Millhauser (1943- ), In the Penny Arcade

Stephen King (1947- ), The Reach

Charles Johnson (1948- ), Exchange Value

John Crowley (1942- ), Snow

Thomas Ligotti (1947- ), The Last Feast of Harlequin

Breece D'J Pancake (1952-1979), Time and Again

Lisa Tuttle (1952- ), Replacements

Melissa Pritchard (1948- ), Spirit Seizures

Nancy Etchemendy (1952- ), Cat in Glass

Bruce McAllister (1946- ), The Girl Who Loved Animals

Kathe Koja and Barry N. Malzberg, Ursus Triad, Later

Katherine Dunn, The Nuclear Family: His Talk, Her Teeth

Nicholson Baker (1957- ), Subsoil

Product Details

Oates, Joyce Carol
Plume Books
Oates, Joyce Carol
Oates, Joyce Carol
New York :
Short Stories (single author)
Collections and anthologies
Horror - Anthologies
Gothic revival (literature)
Horror tales, American
Gothic revival (Literature) -- United States.
Gothic revival
Horror - General
Edition Description:
Mass Market
William Abrahams
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
9.04x5.96x1.21 in. 1.27 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » American » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General

American Gothic Tales (96 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 560 pages Plume Books - English 9780452274891 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Featuring contributions by Irving, Hawthorne, Poe, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and many others, this definitive collection of chilling American fiction includes more than 40 of the best examples of the genre.
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