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Joyce Carol Oates

The Accursed

Joyce Carol Oates.
Publisher Ecco  
Format paperback
ISBN 9780062234353
Pages/Publication Date 669/2013
Daedalus Item Code 38973
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Princeton, New Jersey, at the turn of the 20th century was a genteel town for genteel souls. But something dark and malignant lurks in its shadows; vampires and ghosts haunt the dreams of the innocent, and a deadly curse besets the town's leading families. When a demonic interloper snatches a young bride from the altar and drags her off to the pine barrens, her brother sets out against all odds to find her. But in this magnificently sprawling gothic novel by National Humanities Medal winner Joyce Carol Oates, he will cross paths with a haunted Grover Cleveland, fresh out of his second term in the White House; a paranoid Woodrow Wilson, soon-to-be commander in chief; the young idealist Upton Sinclair, and his comrade and nemesis Jack London; and the great Mark Twain, in his twilight and plagued, as are they all, by "accursed" visions. "Joyce Carol Oates has written what may be the world's first postmodern Gothic novel: E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime set in Dracula's castle," said Stephen King in a New York Times Book Review cover article. "It's dense, challenging, problematic, horrifying, funny, prolix and full of crazy people. You should read it. I wish I could tell you more.... These many loosely wrapped Tales of Princeton are feverishly entertaining. Oates's hypnotic prose has never been better displayed than it is in the book's final fabulism, which concerns a game of checkers between a brave child and a demon who cheats at every opportunity. I could tell you who wins ... but it's a secret."
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