Synopses & Reviews
The Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel from the author of the New York Times bestselling novel We Were the Mulvaneys
Taut, powerfully imagined and beautifully written, Black Water ranks with the best of Joyce Carol Oates's already long list of distinguished achievements. It can be read in a single afternoon, but, like every good book, it continues to haunt us.”
- The New York Times
Joyce Carol Oates has taken a shocking story that has become an American myth and, from it, has created a novel of electrifying power and illumination. Kelly Kelleher is an idealistic, twenty-six-year-old good girl” when she meets the Senator at a Fourth of July party. In a brilliantly woven narrative, we enter her past and her present, her mind and her body as she is fatally attracted to this older man, this hero, this soon-to-be-lover. Kelly becomes the very embodiment of the vulnerable, romantic dreams of bright and brave women, drawn to the power that certain men commandat a party that takes on the quality of a surreal nightmare; in a tragic car ride that we hope against hope will not end as we know it must end. One of the acknowledged masters of American fiction, Joyce Carol Oates has written a bold tour de force that parts the black water to reveal the profoundest depths of human truth.
“A powerfully imagined novel
it continues to haunt us.”
New York Times Book Review
signals another frontier opened with the sword of a master storyteller.”
— Chicago Tribune
“Its power of evocation is remarkable.”
—The New Yorker
The senator. The girl. The accident. In her most powerful novel to date, Oates creates an unforgettable allegory about power, morals, and ambition. The ghost of an American tragedy is resurrected in order to give voice to its silenced victim--an idealistic young woman too easily seduced by our fairy tales.
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.