My Sister, My Love: Book summary and reviews of My Sister, My Love by Joyce Carol Oates

My Sister, My Love

The Intimate Story of Skyler Rampike

by Joyce Carol Oates

My Sister, My Love
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2008
    576 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

"Dysfunctional families are all alike. Ditto 'survivors.'"

So begins the unexpurgated first-person narrative of nineteen-year-old Skyler Rampike, the only surviving child of an "infamous" American family. A decade ago the Rampikes were destroyed by the murder of Skyler's six-year-old ice-skating champion sister, Bliss, and the media scrutiny that followed. Part investigation into the unsolved murder; part elegy for the lost Bliss and for Skyler's own lost childhood; and part corrosively funny exposé of the pretensions of upper-middle-class American suburbia, this captivating novel explores with unexpected sympathy and subtlety the intimate lives of those who dwell in Tabloid Hell.

Likely to be Joyce Carol Oates's most controversial novel to date, as well as her most boldly satirical, this unconventional work of fiction is sure to be recognized as a classic exploration of the tragic interface between private life and the perilous life of "celebrity." In My Sister, My Love: The Intimate Story of Skyler Rampike, the incomparable Oates once again mines the depths of the sinister yet comic malaise at the heart of our contemporary culture.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [T]he novel is long,...and apt to indulge in verbal excess ...Oates's psychological acuity, however, ranks this novel as one of the best from a dark observer of our lives and times." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Oates is in top form as she creates a narrative voice that is bitter and humorous yet sympathetic, building to a dramatic and satisfying resolution. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"A bad idea, poorly executed. Where will Oates take us next? One wonders, and fears." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Author Information

Joyce Carol Oates Author Biography

Photo by Marion Ettlinger

Joyce Carol Oates was born in Lockport, New York, in 1938 and grew up on the family farm where she developed a love of literature and writing. She earned a scholarship to Syracuse University and graduated valedictorian. She then took a masters degree, after which she started teaching at the University of Detroit where she met her first husband Raymond J Smith. In the late '60s, they moved to the University of Windsor in Canada, where they were co-editors of the literary quaterly publication The Ontario Review. In the late 1970s she took a teaching position at Princeton University where she is currently the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities.

She published her first book in 1963, and has published over 40 ...

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