Book - 2006
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"A novel about class, race, and the horrific, glassy sparkle of urban life, them chronicles the lives of the Wendalls, a family on the steep edge of poverty in the windy, riotous Detroit slums. Loretta, beautiful and dreamy and full of regret by age sixteen, and her two children, Maureen and Jules, make up Oates' vision of the American fam-ily--broken, marginal, and romantically proud. The novel's title, pointedly uncapitalized, refers to those Americans who inhabit the outskirts of society--men and women, mothers and children--whose lives many authors in the 1960s had left unexamined. Alfred Kazin called her subject "the sheer rich chaos of American life." The Nation wrote, "When Miss Oates' potent, life-gripping imagination and her skill at narrative are conjoined, as they are preeminently in them, she is a prodigious writer." -- publisher discription (September 2006).
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 2006
Edition: 2006 Modern Library pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780345484406
Branch Call Number: 813.54 O11t
Characteristics: xxxiv, 546 p. ; 19 cm


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Apr 17, 2016

Probably one of the most evocative books about the 60's and the social upheaval of that time. Re-read it now and see the roots of today's movements.

patienceandfortitude Dec 15, 2014

I found the characters in the book to be unbelievable and it annoyed me that they were presented without a shred of compassion or heart from Oates. The only part of the book I found authentic was the letter that Maureen writes to Oates telling her how completely unsympathetic she is. Sadly, I agree.

Dec 06, 2010

1970 National Book Award - Fiction


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