audrey_e (audrey_e) wrote in bookish,

Book 43

Originally posted by audrey_e at Book 43
43 THEM Joyce Carol Oates (USA, 1969)

Spanning from the 30s to the 60s, this novel follows the lives of the Wendalls, a poor family struggling to survive in Detroit. 
Them is a National Book Award winner.

A year ago, I read a short story by Joyce Carol Oates and was instantly blown away by her writing style. While it took me that long to finally read a full novel, I cannot wait to read more of her books.
Them is a short family saga that focuses on poverty and its consequences, gender relations, and identity. It also perfectly captures the generations encompassed in its timeline. 
As previously hinted, the star of this novel is the author's writing style. Joyce is blessed with an amazing ability to recreate a person's thoughts on the page. As a result, my sympathy or lack thereof for the characters became irrelevant, I was simply fascinated by the vividness and poignancy of the language. 
Perhaps my only criticism of this novel is that the dialogues were sometimes too dreamy and elaborate to be exactly realistic. However, their beauty was the pay-off. 


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