A stunning and disturbing collection of stories from the legendary Joyce Carol Oates, High Crime Area shows just how fulland how devoidof humanity we can be
High Crime Area
Tales of Darkness and Dread
The Mysterious Press
978-0-8021-2374-9 • $15.00 • Paperback • June 2015
“Some people read poetry at bedtime. Others prefer seed catalogs. May I suggest Joyce Carol Oates’s new story collection, High Crime Area? These ‘tales of darkness and dread’ won’t put you to sleep, but they’ll give you more interesting nightmares.” New York Times Book Review
Joyce Carol Oates is an unparalleled investigator of human flaws. In these eight stories, she deftly tests the bonds between damaged individualsa brother and sister, a teacher and student, two strangers on a subwayin the fearless prose for which she’s become so celebrated.
In the title story, a white aspiring professor is convinced she is being followed. No need to panicshe has a handgun stowed away in her purse, just in case. But when she turns to confront her black male shadow, the situation isn’t what she expects. In “The Rescuer,” a promising graduate student detours to inner-city Trenton, New Jersey, to save her brother from a downward spiral. But she soon finds out there may be more to his world than to hers. And in “The Last Man of Letters,” the world-renowned author X embarks on a final grand tour of Europe. He has money, fame, but not a whole lot of manners. A little thing like etiquette couldn’t bring a man like X down, could it? In these biting and beautiful pieces, Oates confronts, one by one, the demons within us. Sometimes it’s the human who wins, and sometimes it’s the demon.