Tales of H.P. Lovecraft

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9780060957902: Tales of H.P. Lovecraft

When he died in 1937, destitute and emotionally and physically ruined.  H.P. Lovecraft had no idea that he would come to be regarded as the godfather of the modern horror genre, nor that his work would influence an entire generation of writers, including Stephen King and Anne Rice. Now, at last, the most important tales of this distinctive American genious are gathered in one volume by National Book Award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates.


Combining the nineteenth-century gothic sesibility of Edgar Allan Poe with a daring internal vision, Lovecraft's tales foretold a psychically troubled century to come.  Set in a meticulously described, historically grounded New England landscape, his harrowing stories explore the collapse of sanity beneath the weight of chaotic events.  Lovecraft's universe is a frightening shadow world where reality and nightmare intertwine, and redemption can come only from below.  In her preceptive and penetrating introduction, Oates, herself a virtuoso of the Gothic style, explains how Lovecraft's singular talents fused the supernatural and mundane into a terrifying complex, exquisitely realized vision.

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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 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. 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.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A collection of ten prototypical stories by Lovecraft (18901937), the influential myth-and monster-maker of Providence, Rhode Island, whose extravagantly gothic tales have spawned and inspired such latterday disciples as Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell. It's ingenuous for Ecco to claim that ``Now, at last'' we have a representative Lovecraft (considering all that several publishers have done over the years to keep even his ephemera in print). Still, here are some of his best, including such comparatively little-known triumphs as a harrowing depiction of a surrender to madness (``The Dreams in the Witch-House'') and a superb haunted-house tale (``The Shunned House''). Oates's brief, incisive introduction suggestively compares Lovecraft's experiences and temperament with those of his mentor Poe, and helpfully summarizes the content of the former's apparently immortal ``Chthulu Mythos.'' One misses only Lovecraft's hair-raising novella ``The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.'' But even without it this attractive volume offers a fine chance to sample Lovecraft's ghoulish pleasures. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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