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Marya: A Life (Pavanne Books) epub

by Joyce Carol Oates


Marya: A Life (Pavanne Books) epub

ISBN: 0330295888

ISBN13: 978-0330295888

Author: Joyce Carol Oates

Category: Literature and Fiction

Subcategory: Contemporary

Language: English

Publisher: Pan Books; New Ed edition (1987)

Pages: 320 pages

ePUB book: 1516 kb

FB2 book: 1381 kb

Rating: 4.1

Votes: 987

Other Formats: lrf docx txt rtf





Joyce Carol Oates returns with a dark, romantic, and captivating tale, set in the Great Lakes region of upstate New .

Joyce Carol Oates returns with a dark, romantic, and captivating tale, set in the Great Lakes region of upstate New York-the territory of her remarkably successful New York Times bestseller The Gravedigger's Daughter. Tristram Heade is a reclusive, repressed Virginia bachelor and antiquarian book collector who has traveled to Philadelphia to keep an appointment with a fellow dealer. But when he arrives, his life takes an unexpected and dizzying turn. A train porter returns his lost wallet, but the identification inside belongs to a man named Angus Markham, a gambler and real estate prospector.

A deeply intimate psychological portrait of a young woman's tragic childhood, her reinvention as a successful young artist in the literary circles of 1950s New York City, and her struggle to understand and overcome the trauma of her past. Psychologically nuanced, rich in insight and emotional complexity, told with the unsettling power of Joyce Carol Oates’s gothic novels, Marya: A Life is an intense look into the psyche of a young woman and an illuminating exploration of how the past reverberates throughout our lives. Fiction Psychological. To read this book, upload an EPUB or FB2 file to Bookmate.

Finding books BookSee BookSee - Download books for free. Literary Marriages: A Study of Intertextuality in a Series of Short Stories by Joyce Carol Oates. 594 Kb. Lavish self-divisions: the novels of Joyce Carol Oates.

List of the published work of Joyce Carol Oates, American writer. A Garden of Earthly Delights (1967). Expensive People (1968). Do With Me What You Will (1973). The Assassins (1975). Son of the Morning (1978). Angel of Light (1981). A Bloodsmoor Romance (1982). Mysteries of Winterthurn (1984). Marya: A Life (1986). You Must Remember This (1987). American Appetites (1989).

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This book is incredibly well written, as all of Joyce Carol Oates' books are. Marya is a very unique character whose life you become absorbed in. However, the book was profoundly depressing, and I spend my life reading depressing books so that's saying a lot. From the first to the last page, Marya's life is horrendous and everyone she loves dies or abuses her in some way. I read somewhere that there were a lot of autobiographical elements to this book, but I sure hope not for Oates' sake.

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 several times nominated for the Pulitzer.

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 several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. Her most recent novel is A Book of American Martyrs.

A Book of American Martyrs: A Novel. Miao Dao (Dark Corners collection). Constructed on a more intimate scale than those books, it is a stark, well-drawn portrait of the title character told in "scenes from the life" style, from Marya's early days of poverty, her life as an abandoned child raised by an aunt and uncle, through hard-won college success and an academic career.

The beginning of this book seemed so promising---I found Marya's childhood and (undergraduate) college years hypnotic. I loved Marya's obstinate nature. I also thought the depiction of female friendship between Marya and Imogene was brilliant (and a possible foreshadowing of future, more explosive relationship problems). Truly, It is a rare treat to see a female character with such conviction, strength, drive, anger, and defiance rendered in such complex psychological detail.

So I did not understand why these distinctive qualities, around which the first half of the novel is built, disappear as soon as Marya meets Maximilian (the professor). JCO seems to take great pains to emphasize how scornful of people, spiteful, and wholly "other" Marya is, only to completely dispose of those notions as soon as Marya falls in love with her professor. Suddenly Marya is friendly with her colleagues and other students, open to sexual contact, going on dates willingly, comfortably sharing closeness with other people, etc etc. And this behavior continues throughout the rest of the novel. In fact, there seem to be a LOT of people with whom Marya opens up and shares her life---and this is after we spent half a novel learning of what a deeply scornful, arrogant, and almost mythically stoic person she is. I thought some of that rage and seething inner life would pay off in a more satisfying way; instead, it is tempered as she ages and mostly forgotten. As a result, The adult Marya becomes is rather weak and disappointing. And, dare I say, boring.

Peripheral characters who seem to mean a lot to Marya are introduced without warning. I thought toward the end that this was purposeful on the author's part---perhaps the idea was that none of these characters truly mattered to Marya, so why waste time describing them in detail?---but there is so much information about them, they seem like they should be more significant.

I wanted this novel to be more than it was. However, I am a huge JCO fan, so reading anything of hers is a pleasure.
Marya's rise from humble beginnings to become a respected academic and writer is an interesting one and this had the potential to be a great book. What marred it for me was the detached style of writing and the slightly pretentious narrator who reflects the overly-cerebral and chilly character of Marya. For much of the time I felt like someone was telling me this story second hand rather than allowing me to experience it for myself.

Marya's life is not an easy one and her traumatic childhood can account for many of her flaws, but her sense of superiority gets boring after a while. Maybe this was a protective shield she had to create to forge her own path but even at the end of the book she still believed that her Uncle who raised her surely had to love her more than his own daughter because she was smarter! She does come to realise that you can't escape from the past no matter how hard you try but just when it seems she might experience some real emotional growth, the story ends abruptly.

I liked the way this book portrays the struggles of "scholarship girls" whose only outlet from a stifling life of poverty and conformity was through academia. It also shows just how insular and archaic the academic world can be. When Marya leaves this world behind (for reasons we're not privy to) to live in New York and write about human rights abuses in Latin America, there's still a distinct sense that nothing she does really makes much difference. I'm not sure if this was Oates' intention but there's something obscene to me about well-heeled journalists and academics who jet-set from one international conference to another making a very nice living off the suffering of others without doing anything to alleviate it.

Another thing that bothered me was the lack of women in the book. All of the important people in Marya's life are brilliant, intellectual men. The only woman she has a significant friendship with is Imogene, who is portrayed as manipulative and fake. Her cousin Alice and the girls she goes to school with are simpletons and her Aunt is an insensitive cow. In an era when so many women were embracing feminism and challenging gender-roles, she doesn't come across a single female who is worth mentioning in detail apart from Imogene. It's only males she's inspired and influenced by so in the end this independent, intelligent and complex woman is defined largely by her relationships with men. Ironic really.

I can't help comparing this book with Stoner by John Williams which is about a young man from dirt-poor beginnings who finds an outlet in academia, but who then struggles with faculty politics and his personal relationships. I think Marya would have benefited from some of Stoner's rawness and honesty.
This book is not really plot driven. It is a character study of Marya whose early life was tragic and lonely. She was abandoned by her mother and betrayed by others in her life. She was intelligent and obtained a college scholarship which offered her escape from the life and surroundings that she so disliked. Despite a successful career, Marya rarely seemed happy. Throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood, she tried to understand herself and others, but didn't really do so.

As a former psychologist, I enjoyed the novel. However it is not a happy book and Marya is not really a likeable character. If you don't like dark, psychological novels, you might want to avoid it.

Even though I liked the book, there were things that I didn't like. For example, it went on and on about various philosophical and literary issues that I found boring and tended to skim. There were also a few sections that seemed unrelated to the rest of the book. For example, there is a long section about a university custodian. I saw no relevance to the rest of the story. Some sections of the book came to an abrupt end and then jumped quite a few years.