From one of the most important contemporary American writers, Cardiff, by the Sea is a bold, haunting collection of four never-before-seen novellas.
In the titular novella, a Pennsylvania academic discovers a terrifying trauma from her past after inheriting a house in Cardiff, Maine from someone she has never heard of. In 'Miao Dao', a pubescent girl overcome with loneliness befriends a feral cat that becomes her protector from the increasingly aggressive males 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 in 'Phantomwise: 1972'. And in 'The Surviving Child', a widower remarries, but his young wife is haunted by his dead wife's voice dancing in the wind.
In these psychologically daring, chillingly suspenseful pieces, Joyce Carol Oates writes about women facing threats past and present, and reminds us why she is so often praised as one of America's most significant contemporary writers.
'Oates's brand of horror has never required the invocation of other worlds: This world is terrible enough for her. Everything she writes, in whatever genre, has an air of dread, because she deals in vulnerabilities and inevitabilities, in the desperate needs that drive people ... to their fates. A sense of helplessness is the essence of horror, and Oates conveys that feeling as well as any writer around' New York Times Book Review.
'Both haunting and sublime' Literary Review.
'An unsettling read worth every resulting jump in the night ... [Oates is a] literary goddess' Daily Mail.
'As usual with Oates, it is horribly readable, but driven by something disturbingly like genuine misanthropy' Sunday Times.
'Oates chillingly depicts the darkness lurking within the everyday' Sunday Express.
'A writer of extraordinary strengths' Guardian