Oates returns to upstate New York's Mount Ephraim, the setting of We Were the Mulvaneys. This time, she focuses on the middle class - Nikki Eaton is a 31 year old reporter for the smalltown Beacon and the black sheep of the family. She's having an affair with a married DJ; she barely tolerates her widowed mother Gwen, and her homemaker sister, Clare. Two days after the story opens Gwen is murdered by an ex-con. Missing Mom follows Nikki during the year following her mother's death.
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'...yet the novel is so conventional and relentlessly detailed that it can't help showing its characters behaving in ways that resonate.' - PW
'...a profoundly involving and haunting explication of grief, followed, finally, by a renewed embrace of life.' - Booklist.
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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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