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Beschreibung des Verlags
The unforgettable story of the rise, fall and ultimate redemption of an American family.
The Mulvaneys are seemingly blessed by everything that makes life sweet. They live together in the picture-perfect High Point Farm, just outside the community of Mt Ephraim, New York, where they are respected and liked by everybody.
Yet something happens on Valentine's Day 1976. An incident involving Marianne Mulvaney, the pretty sixteen-year-old daughter, is hushed up in the town and never discussed within the family. The impact of this event reverberates throughout the lives of the characters.
As told by Judd, years later, in an attempt to make sense of his own past reveals the unspoken truths of that night that rends the fabric of the family life with tragic consequences. In ‘We Were the Mulvaneys’, Joyce Carol Oates, the highly acclaimed author of ‘Blonde’, masterfully weaves an unforgettable story of the rise, fall and ultimate redemption of an American family.
‘I read this book over a year ago, but this family still haunts me.’ Oprah Winfrey
‘“We Were the Mulvaneys” works not simply because of its meticulous details and gestures…What keeps us coming back to Oates Country is something stronger and spookier: her uncanny gift of making the page a window, with something on the other side that we'd swear was life itself.' David Gates, The New York Times Book Review
'It is a book that will break your heart, heal it, then break it again every time you think about it.’ Los Angeles Times
'A brilliantly detailed and varied picture of family life and a succession of dramatic set pieces…These are people we recognise, and she makes us care deeply about them.' Kirkus
About the author
Joyce Carol Oates, a recipient of the National Book Award, is one of the most highly respected novelists, critic, playwright, poet and author of short stories. ‘We Were the Mulvaneys’ was first published in 1996. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. Her highly acclaimed previous novel, ‘Blonde’ (2000), was short-listed for the National Book Award.
Elegiac and urgent in tone, Oates's wrenching 26th novel (after Zombie) is a profound and darkly realistic chronicle of one family's hubristic heyday and its fall from grace. The wealthy, socially elite Mulvaneys live on historic High Point Farm, near the small upstate town of Mt. Ephraim, N.Y. Before the act of violence that forever destroys it, an idyllic incandescence bathes life on the farm. Hard-working and proud, Michael Mulvaney owns a successful roofing company. His wife, Corinne, who makes a halfhearted attempt at running an antique business, adores her husband and four children, feeling "privileged by God." Narrator Judd looks up to his older brothers, athletic Mike Jr. ("Mule") and intellectual Patrick ("Pinch"), and his sister, radiant Marianne, a popular cheerleader who is 17 in 1976 when she is raped by a classmate after a prom. Though the incident is hushed up, everyone in the family becomes a casualty. Guilty and shamed by his reaction to his daughter's defilement, Mike Sr. can't bear to look at Marianne, and she is banished from her home, sent to live with a distant relative. The family begins to disintegrate. Mike loses his business and, later, the homestead. The boys and Corinne register their frustration and sadness in different, destructive ways. Valiant, tainted Marianne runs from love and commitment. More than a decade later, there is a surprising denouement, in which Oates accommodates a guardedly optimistic vision of the future. Each family member is complexly rendered and seen against the background of social and cultural conditioning. As with much of Oates's work, the prose is sometimes prolix, but the very rush of narrative, in which flashbacks capture the same urgency of tone as the present, gives this moving tale its emotional power. 75,000 first printing; author tour.