Joyce Carol Oates is America's most extraordinary and prolific woman of letters. In Dark Eyes on America, Gavin Cologne-Brookes illuminates the vision of this remarkable master of her craft, finding evidence in her novels of an evolving consciousness that ultimately forgoes abstract introspection in favor of a more practical approach to art as a tool for understanding both personal and social challenges. With her clear-eyed perception of human behavior, Oates has for decades offered unhesitating explorations of genre, topic, and style--making her an inevitable if somewhat elusive subject for critical assessment. Cologne-Brookes's conversations and correspondence with Oates, his close textual study of her novels, and abundant references to her essays, stories, poetry, and plays result in a work that critically synthesizes the layers of her writing. This comprehensive yet accessible study offers an essential analysis of one of the twentieth century's most significant writers.
Gavin Cologne-Brookes, author of The Novels of William Styron: From Harmony to History and Dark Eyes on America: The Novels of Joyce Carol Oates, is a professor of American literature and director of the Contemporary Writing Research Centre at Bath Spa University. He lives with his wife and daughters in Wiltshire, England.
Praise for Dark Eyes on America
“A major work not only in the scholarship on Oates but also in the application of pragmatist theory to literary analysis. Moreover, its wit and readability make it suitable for students who want to see a model of pragmatist criticism.”—Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature
“This is a sound and engaging book that creates a balanced overview of Oates's career while tackling the question of her role in the wider community. What most recommends Cologne-Brookes's book is the liveliness and clarity of his reading of the novels.”—Modern Fiction Studies
“A thoughtful, thorough study which . . . encourages readers to re-examine Oates's novels within a philosophical context.”—Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas
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