Sourland: Book summary and reviews of Sourland by Joyce Carol Oates

Sourland

Stories

by Joyce Carol Oates

Sourland by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Sep 2010
    384 pages
    Genre: Short Stories & Essays

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

The sixteen stories of Sourland beautifully resonate with the author's trademark fascination for the unpredictable in the midst of the 'ordinary' - the commingling of sexual love and violence, the tumult of family life, a predilection for dark humor, and a gift for voice. The inhabitants of Sourland are as varied as a desperate man who dons a jack-o-lantern head as a prelude to a most curious sort of courtship, a story of a stabbing many times recounted in the life of a lonely young girl, a beguiling young woman librarian whose amputee state attracts a married man and father, a girl hopelessly in love with her renegade, incarcerated cousin, and a professor's wife who finds herself tragically isolated at the party she is hosting for her beloved husband's colleagues.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Oates's fiction has the curious, morbid draw of a flaming car wreck. It's a testament to Oates's talent that she can nearly always force the reader to look." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. This is a trenchant book of 'cruel fairy tales' in which people are severely tested, profoundly punished, and tragically transformed." - Booklist

"When Oates is at her best, the work reflects a delicious boundary-crossing mix of literary artistry and genre-writing skill. The stories that work less well lack the requisite subtlety to transcend the journalistic taint." - Library Journal

The information about Sourland shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

The Postie

Sourland Review
This is the first Joyce Carol Oates book I have ever read. I thought that by reading a collection of her short stories, I might be able to quickly get a broader taste of her work. Although she is definitely a talented writer as evidenced by her amazing cast of characters throughout this collection of stories, I found each short story leaving me empty and asking, "is that it? That is how you are going to end this story? Really?". There did not seem to be any resolution or closure. The stories did not end with me feeling grounded; it was more like Ms. Oates just left me hanging. A little disappointing. Can anyone suggest another one of her books?

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

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 ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview

Other books by Joyce Carol Oates at BookBrowse

24 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more short stories & essays...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Ghachar Ghochar
    by Vivek Shanbhag
    The Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) that has dominated economic news headlines over the past decade is the...
  • Book Jacket: Caught in the Revolution
    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport
    So taken were BookBrowse's First Impression reviewers by the inside look at the start of the Russian...
  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -