A young girl's disappearance rocks a community and a family in this stirring examination of grief, faith, justice, and the atrocities of war, the latest from literary legend Joyce Carol Oates.
Zeno Mayfield's daughter has disappeared into the night, gone missing in the wilds of the Adirondacks. But when the community of Carthage joins a father's frantic search for the girl, they discover instead the unlikeliest of suspects - a decorated Iraq War veteran with close ties to the Mayfield family. As grisly evidence mounts against the troubled war hero, the family must wrestle with the possibility of having lost a daughter forever.
Carthage plunges us deep into the psyche of a wounded young Corporal, haunted by unspeakable acts of wartime aggression, while unraveling the story of a disaffected young girl whose exile from her family may have come long before her disappearance.
Dark and riveting, Carthage is a powerful addition to the Joyce Carol Oates canon, one that explores the human capacity for violence, love and forgiveness, and asks it it's ever truly possible to come home again.
"Oates has written what may be the world's postmodern Gothic novel.… It's dense, challenging, problematic, horrifying, funny, prolix and full of crazy people. You should read it. I wish I could tell you more…feverishly entertaining" (Stephen King, New York Times Book Review)
"Enthralling...it is both a commentary on the art of Gothic fiction, and a marvellously sustained piece of Gothic writing itself. We await the next novel with renewed excitement. We will not have to wait long." (Stephen Abell, Sunday Telegraph)
"Oates is not a genre writer, but like most writers sincerely engaged in the job of telling stories, she isn't afraid of genre motifs, and The Accursed is packed to the gills with them: ghouls, succubi, vampires, body snatchers, a plague of snakes consorting with schoolgirls, child-devouring beasts in the night... a large number of the narrative riffs are powerful and absorbing...it's clear throughout these 600-plus pages that, as always, Oates intimately knows her characters and the worlds they inhabit." (Literary Review)
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