I once read a quote from Joyce Carol Oates that said if you were going to choose one book of her collection to start with, it would be either Blonde or Them. I chose Them and Oates could not have been more correct, as it only left me wanting to explore more of her vast catalog. Them follows the life of Loretta Wendall along with the lives of her children as they grow up, with the novel ending during the Detroit race riots. Pick up a copy of Them for an excellent American novel and to open your eyes to a huge selection of the works of Joyce Carol Oates. Recommended By Jeffrey J., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A sprawling novel about the sparkling grit of post-war urban life, them (please note that the title is not capitalized) is the story of Maureen Wendall, daughter of working class parents, and her struggle to survive the economic and social straits into which she is born. Written with the passion and psychological insight for which Oates is known, them ranks as one of her greatest novels, as well as one of the great works of fiction of the second half of the 20th century. With its sweeping view of a particular time and place (Detroit, the 1950s and 60s), and its vast emotional perception of both male and female characters, them, upon its original publication, confirmed to the literary world that Oates's vision of a fictional America weighs in as forcefully as those of Updike, Roth, and Bellow.