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Cardiff, by the Sea: Book summary and reviews of Cardiff, by the Sea by Joyce Carol Oates

Cardiff, by the Sea

Four Novellas of Suspense

by Joyce Carol Oates

Cardiff, by the Sea by Joyce Carol Oates X
Cardiff, by the Sea by Joyce Carol Oates
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  • Published Oct 2020
    288 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

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Book Summary

From one of the most important contemporary American writers, Cardiff, by the Sea is a bold, haunting collection of four previously unpublished novellas.

In the titular novella, an academic in Pennsylvania discovers a terrifying trauma from her past after inheriting a house in Cardiff, Maine from someone she has never heard of. Mia, the protagonist of "Miao Dao," is a pubescent girl overcome with loneliness, who befriends a feral cat that becomes her protector from the increasingly aggressive males that surround her.

A brilliant but shy college sophomore realizes that she is pregnant in "Phan-tomwise: 1972." Distraught, she allows a distinguished visiting professor to take her under his wing, though it quickly becomes evident that he is interested in more than an academic mentorship. Lastly, "The Surviving Child" is Stefan, who was spared when his mother, a famous poet, killed his sister and herself. Stefan's father remarries, but his young wife is haunted by dead poet's voice dancing in the wind, an inexplicably befouled well, and a compulsive draw to the same garage that took two lives.

In these psychologically daring, chillingly suspenseful pieces, Joyce Carol Oates writes about women facing threats past and present.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[S]pellbinding...Oates masterfully digs into the turbulent psyches of her characters and makes it ambiguous to the reader how much of the strange worlds they navigate are projections of their own anxieties and longings...This superb outing is sure to captivate." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Family secrets bloom into nightmares in these skillful, chilling stories." - Kirkus Reviews

This information about Cardiff, by the Sea was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Joyce Carol Oates Author Biography

Photo by Dustin Cohen

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the 2019 Jerusalem Prize for Lifetime Achievement, and has been nominated several times for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde; and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. In 2020 she was awarded the Cino Del Duca World Prize for Literature. She is the Roger S. Berlind '52 Distinguished Professor of the Humanities emerita at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

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