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The (Other) You: Book summary and reviews of The (Other) You by Joyce Carol Oates

The (Other) You

by Joyce Carol Oates

The (Other) You by Joyce Carol Oates X
The (Other) You by Joyce Carol Oates
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  • Published Feb 2021
    304 pages
    Genre: Short Stories

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Book Summary

A powerful reckoning over the people we might have been if we'd chosen a different path, from a master of the short story.

In this stirring, reflective collection of short stories, Joyce Carol Oates ponders alternate destinies: the other lives we might have led if we'd made different choices. An accomplished writer returns to her childhood home of Yewville, but the homecoming stirs troubled thoughts about the person she might have been if she'd never left. A man in prison contemplates the gravity of his irreversible act. A student's affair with a professor results in a pregnancy that alters the course of her life forever. Even the experience of reading is investigated as one that can create a profound transformation: "You could enter another time, the time of the book."

The (Other) You is an arresting and incisive vision into these alternative realities, a collection that ponders the constraints we all face given the circumstances of our birth and our temperaments, and that examines the competing pressures and expectations on women in particular. Finely attuned to the nuances of our social and psychic selves, Joyce Carol Oates demonstrates here why she remains one of our most celebrated and relevant literary figures.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] dark, moody collection permeated by themes of obsession, remorse, and violence...Oates's mastery of the form remains fierce and formidable in this unsettling collection of lamentations and missed opportunities." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Crackling with pent-up emotion and deadly devices, a suite of neatly intertwining stories by a masterful storyteller...Few short story writers do as much in so few words as the economical, enigmatic Oates." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

This information about The (Other) You 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

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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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