Expensive People

By Joyce Carol Oates; Elaine Showalter (Introduction by)
(Modern Library, Paperback, 9780812976540, 224pp.)

Publication Date: September 12, 2006

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Description
Joyce Carol Oates's Wonderland Quartet comprises four remarkable novels that explore social class in America and the inner lives of young Americans. In Expensive People, Oates takes a provocative and suspenseful look at the roiling secrets of America's affluent suburbs. Set in the late 1960s, this first-person confession is narrated by Richard Everett, a precocious and obese boy who sees himself as a minor character in the alarming drama unfolding around him.
Fascinated by yet alienated from his attractive, self-absorbed parents and the privileged world they inhabit, Richard incisively analyzes his own mismanaged childhood, his pretentious private schooling, his "successful-executive" father, and his elusive mother. In an act of defiance and desperation, eleven-year-old Richard strikes out in a way that presages the violence of ever-younger Americans in the turbulent decades to come.
A National Book Award finalist, "Expensive People" is a stunning combination of social satire and gothic horror. "You cannot put this novel away after you have opened it," said "The Detroit News." "This is that kind of book-hypnotic, fascinating, and electrifying."
"Expensive People "is the second novel in the Wonderland Quartet. The books that complete this acclaimed series, A" Garden of Earthly Delights," them, and "Wonderland," are also available from the Modern Library.



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.

Elaine Showalter is Professor of English at Princeton University and the author of "Sister' Choice: Traditions & Contradictions in American Women's Writing, The Female Malady: Women, Madness & English Culture, Sexual Anarchy: Gender & Culture at the Fin de Siecle", and "Modern American Women Writers".
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