A Fair Maiden
By Joyce Carol Oates
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151015160, 176pp.)
Publication Date: January 2010
Categories: Mystery & Detective - General
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Sixteen-year-old Katya Spivak is out for a walk on the gracious streets of Bayhead Harbor with her two summer babysitting charges when she’s approached by silver-haired, elegant Marcus Kidder. At first his interest in her seems harmless, even pleasant; like his name, a sort of gentle joke. His beautiful home, the children’s books he’s written, his classical music, the marvelous art in his study, his lavish presents to her Mr. Kidder’s life couldn’t be more different from Katya’s drab working-class existence back home in South Jersey, or more enticing. But by degrees, almost imperceptibly, something changes, and posing for Mr. Kidder’s new painting isn’t the lighthearted endeavor it once was. What does he really want from her? And how far will he go to get it?In the tradition of Oates’s classic story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" A Fair Maiden is an unsettling, ambiguous tale of desire and control.
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.
PRAISE FOR JOYCE CAROL OATES:"What keeps us coming back to Oates Country is her uncanny gift of making the page a window, with something on the other side that we'd swear was life itself."The New York Times Book Review "For 40 years, Joyce Carol Oates has maintained a creative dialogue with the roiling cauldron of contemporary American culture, writing unflinchingly about the oddities that bubble up into the headlines."Washington Post Book World