A Widow's Story

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Product Details

Ecco Press
Publish Date
5.29 X 8.02 X 1.07 inches | 0.88 pounds
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About the Author

JOYCE CAROL OATES is the recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and the winner of the National Book Award. Among her major works are We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, and The Falls.


"Oates excellently conveys the disconnect between the inwardly chaotic self and the outwardly functioning person..."--New York Review of Books
"Affecting...perfectly pitched prose..."--Richmond Times-Dispatch
"An affecting portrait of anguish."--The Economist
"Astonishing...revelatory...[A Widow's Story] is remarkable...for how candidly Oates explores the writer's secret life: the private world of her marriage, which...she asserts is far truer and more real, and of far greater importance, than any of her imaginary creations."--Book Forum
"Flourishes of black humor punctuate the drumbeat of grief, setting the book apart from works such as Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking."--Wall Street Journal
"[Oates] shines a bright light in every corner in her soul-searing memoir of widowhood."--Publishers Weekly
"The novelist and essayist pens her most intimate book about the death of her husband of 46 years. Judging by the excerpt in The New Yorker Oates' memoir will join Antonia Fraser and Joan Didion on the shelf of essential works on loss."--Daily Beast
"As much a portrait of a unique marriage as a chronicle of grief...immensely moving..."--People
"A Widow's Story is unlike anything Oates has written before...a poignant and raw examination of the obsessiveness and self-indulgence of grief..."--Denver Post
"Joyce Carol Oates's new memoir, A Widow's Story, is a naked confession about the messy relation of art to life...A Widow's Story, while about life after the death of a husband, is also about the intense inner life of a female genius..."--Elle
"Oates writes movingly about the terror, depression and suicidal ruminations that dominated her existence in the months after Smith's death...it's impossible to be unmoved by Oates' "Story," by the degree to which she sees her husband everywhere she looks, as she finds beauty in the elusive notion of renewal."--Kansas City Star
"Oates' raw emotion lifts the veil of the enormity of grief that most widows, and widowers, must feel at the loss of their partners in a way that will come as a shock to some and a relief to others."--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A vivid and urgent memoir..."--Dallas Morning News
"A brave, dark but slyly mordant memoir...Oates rages at the dying of the light of her life in this unflinching, generous portrait of the terror of emptiness."--National Public Radio
"Joyce Carol Oates writes like a force of nature, and a story emerges, as if organically, from the physicality of her grief. There are few secrets and no lies, only insights into the inner world of her partner of 50 years."--Financial Times
"This is a brave, haunting, heart-rending book, and it will never let you go."--Providence Journal
"Reads like a rending of garments..."--Cleveland Plain Dealer
"In a narrative as searing as the best of her fiction, Oates describes the aftermath of her husband Ray's unexpected death from pneumonia...It's the painful, scorchingly angry journey of a woman struggling to live in a house "from which meaning has departed, like air leaking from a balloon."--Entertainment Weekly
"A harrowing tale..."--Detroit News
"As a writer, heightened emotion is the essential ingredient in [Oates'] work...As A Widow's Story progresses, it becomes [Raymond Smith's] story--both an homage to a decent, intensely private man, and Oates' way of keeping him in memory as she probes his most closely guarded self."--Seattle Times
"Widowhood for Oates is a rough, disfiguring condition, one that mocks past happiness. Words are her salvation. "A Widow's Story" is a brave book that carries its author through the contortions of doubt and despair, on a pilgrimage back to life."--Charleston Post & Courier
"Packed with moments of...frankness..."--Seattle Weekly
"...A cascade-of-consciousness that will mostly mesmerize you and surely move you...a book more painfully self-revelatory than anything Oates the fiction writer or critic has ever dared to produce."--New York Times Book Review
"...As enthralling as it is painful...a searing account...It is characteristic of Oates's superb balancing of the intellectual and the emotional that she enables a reader to experience Smith's death in the dramatic way she herself did."--Washington Post
"...Astonishingly candid...[Oates's] suffering gushes forth in page after page of detailed prose, snatches of sentences, reportorial and intuitive, emotional and reflective...Oates set out to write a widow's handbook. What she has accomplished is a story of a marriage."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"A wildly unhinged, deeply intimate look at the eminent author's "derangement of Widowhood."...Oates writes with gut-wrenching honesty and spares no one in ripping the illusions off the face of death...Oates continues to keep her readers guessing at her next thrilling effort."--Kirkus Reviews