A Fair Maiden

A Fair Maiden

By Joyce Carol Oates

Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780547263359, 165pp.

Publication Date: January 2011

An Otto Penzler Book Sixteen-year-old Katya Spivak is walking with her two summer babysitting charges in Bayhead Harbor, New Jersey, when she's approached by silver-haired courtly Marcus Kidder--a local resident of some renown. At first his interest in Katya seems innocent, even as Katya's interest in him seems precociously manipulative. His lovely oceanside home, the children's books he has written, his classical music, and his lavish presents to her--Mr. Kidder's life contrasts starkly with Katya's working-class--and marginally criminal--family background. By almost imperceptible degrees, the relationship between Katya and the gentlemanly Marcus Kidder changes, and posing for him isn't the romantic endeavor it had seemed. What does this mysterious rich man really want from Katya, who is young enough to be his granddaughter? And what will he risk to get it?
In the tradition of Oates's classic novella "Beasts," "A Fair Maiden" is an unsettling, ambiguous tale of mounting suspense and gradually unfolding horror.

About the Author
Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the New York Times bestseller The Accursed. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

Praise For A Fair Maiden



"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