‘Oates’s imagination is as unique, dystopian and vivid as Lewis Carroll’s’ Rose Tremain
Zero-sum games are played for lethal stakes in these arresting stories by one of America’s most acclaimed writers.
A brilliant young philosophy student bent on seducing her famous philosopher-mentor finds herself outmaneuvered; diabolically clever high school girls wreak a particularly apt sort of vengeance on sexual predators in their community; a woman stalked by a would-be killer may be confiding in the wrong former lover; a young woman is morbidly obsessed by her unfamiliar new role as “mother.” In the collection’s longest story, a much-praised cutting-edge writer cruelly experiments with “drafts” of his own suicide.
In these powerfully wrought stories that hold a mirror up to our time, Joyce Carol Oates has created a world of erotic obsession, thwarted idealism, and ever-shifting identities. Provocative and stunning, Zero-Sum reinforces Oates’s standing as a literary treasure and an artist of the mysterious interior life.
‘Feminist horror runs through Joyce Carol Oates’s latest collection ? Electric’New York Times
‘Alluringly dark and spiky’New Statesman
‘Zero-Sum is brilliant – bloodied, breathless, weird’ A. K. Blakemore, author of The Manningtree Witches
‘Dark, unsettling stories ? There’s a disquieting violence simmering ? a shrill alarm of disquiet’Daily Mail
‘Oates is an inspired writer, and a formidable psychologist’Independent