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'A stylish, suspenseful quartet of novellas tinged with the supernatural' Daily Mail
From Joyce Carol Oates come four psychologically daring and chillingly suspenseful stories where women face threats both past and present.
A Pennsylvania academic unearths a terrifying trauma from her past after inheriting a house in Cardiff, Maine from a stranger. A lonely pubescent girl befriends a feral cat that protects her from the increasingly aggressive men that surround her.
A brilliant but shy college sophomore realizes she is pregnant and, distraught, allows a distinguished visiting professor to take her under his wing. And a widower remarries, but finds his young bride haunted by his dead wife's voice dancing in the wind.
The four novellas in this spellbinding collection from Oates (Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.) carefully tread the boundary between psychological and supernatural expressions of the macabre. In the title story, a sinister gothic confection, a young woman inherits a house from the grandmother she never knew, prompting her to explore the harrowing family history that led to her adoption as a toddler. "Phantomwise: 1972" evokes the work of Lewis Carroll in its account of a heroine, Alyce, enmeshed in a skewed reality. In "The Surviving Child," a new wife caring for her stepson is haunted by the palpable presence of the boy's mother, who killed both herself and her young daughter. Oates masterfully digs into the turbulent psyches of her characters and makes it ambiguous to the reader how much of the strange worlds they navigate are projections of their own anxieties and longings especially in "Miao Dao," about a teenage heroine who obsessively protects a feral cat. This superb outing is sure to captivate.