A Widow's Story
By Joyce Carol Oates
(Ecco Press, Paperback, 9780062020505, 415pp.)
Publication Date: February 2012
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Critics across the country have raved about Joyce Carol Oatess ground-breaking memoir A Widows Story, lauding its blazing honesty and raw emotion, calling it immensely moving, searing, enthralling, brave, slyly mordant, and astonishingly candid.
On a February morning in 2008, Joyce Carol Oates drove her ailing husband, Raymond Smith, to the emergency room of the Princeton Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. In less than a week, Ray died from a hospital-acquired virulent infectionand Joyce was suddenly faced with the stunning reality of widowhood.
A Widows Story illuminates one womans struggle to comprehend a life absent of the partnership that had sustained and defined her for nearly half a century. As never before, Joyce Carol Oates shares the derangement of denial, the anguish of loss, the disorientation of the survivor amid a nightmare of death duties, and the solace of friendship. Here is a frank acknowledgment of the widows desperationonly gradually yielding to the recognition that this is my life now.
Enlivened by the piercing vision, acute perception, and mordant humor that are the hallmarks of the work of Joyce Carol Oates, this moving tale of life and death, love and grief, offers a candid, never-before-glimpsed view of this acclaimed author and fiercely private woman.