A novel of tremendous sweep and pace about the American family in crisis – but also about America itself in the mid-20th century. This novel is the crowning achievement of Joyce Carol Oates’s career to date.
A man climbs over the railings and plunges into Niagara Falls. He's a newly-wed, and his bride has been left behind in the honeymoon suite the morning after their wedding. For two weeks, Ariah, the deserted bride, waits by the side of the roaring waterfall for news of her husband's recovered body. During her vigil, an unlikely new love story begins to unfold when she meets a wealthy lawyer who is transfixed by her strange, otherworldly gaze. So it all begins, in the 1950s, with the dark foreboding of the Falls the sinister background to events.
From this cataclysmic event unfurls a drama of parents and their children; of secrets and sins; of lawsuits, murder and, eventually redemption. As Ariah's children learn that their past is enmeshed with a hushed-up scandal involving radioactive waste materials, they must confront not only their personal history but America’s murky past: the despoiling of the American landscape and the corruption and greed of the massive industrial expansion of the 1950s and 1960s.
This novel of tremendous sweep and pace is about the American family in crisis – but also about America itself in the mid-20th century. This book alone places Joyce Carol Oates definitively in the company of the Great American Novelists.
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'Eminently readable and though full of heart is utterly heartbreaking.' Vogue
'Oates offers a shrewd, often chilling analysis of an unhappy marriage…[she] deftly widens her focus to…Niagara, corrupt and dangerously polluted.' Sunday Times
'If you only read one new novel this autumn, make it this… you'll be hooked within pages' Mail on Sunday
'…engaging…compelling…a flair for the minutiae of character…' Guardian
'The Falls is a swirling cataract of invention, and a mesmerising read.' Daily Telegraph
‘One of the female frontrunners for the title of Great American Novelist.' Sunday Times
'A writer of extraordinary strengths…she has dealt consistently with what is probably the great American theme – the quest for the creation of self…Her great subject, naturally, is love.' Guardian
'Apart from her, only Don Delillo, among today's American novelists, and no one at all among today's American women novelists, would be able to handle such a huge cast of imagined and real characters.' Literary Review
'Novelists such as John Updike, Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer slug it out for the title of the Great American Novelist. But maybe they're wrong. Maybe, just maybe, the Great American Novelist is a woman.' The HeraldAbout the Author:
Joyce Carol Oates is a novelist, critic, playwright, poet and author of short stories and is one of America’s most highly respected literary figures. She currently holds the post of Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. Her most recent novel, ‘The Gravedigger’s Daughter’, was published in 2007.
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Book Description Fourth Estate, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First Edition. Next day dispatch. International delivery available. 1000's of satisfied customers! Please contact us with any enquiries. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000063832