The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy, providing a look at the darker side of our society
Night Sleep Death The Stars is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.
Stark and penetrating, Joyce Carol Oates’s latest novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief, and eventual healing, as well as an intimate family novel in the tradition of the author’s bestselling We Were the Mulvaneys.
About the author
Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award and the PEN / Malamud Award, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her books include We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, Carthage, A Book of American Martyrs and Hazards of Time Travel. She is Professor of Humanities at Princeton University.
- ‘John Earle “Whitey” McClaren pulls his car to the side of the expressway outside his hometown of Hammond, New York, when he witnesses police officers using excessive force on a Black man. The cops turn their Tasers and steel-toed boots on Whitey, leaving him writhing on the ground. His death catapults Jessalyn, his wife of more than 40 years, and his five grown children into the heartbreak of grief in all its stages. While Oates purposefully plumbs the depths of each family member’s agonizing loss, her perceptive study of Jessalyn’s widowhood stands out as an impressive and impassioned portrait of this distressing life journey’ Booklist
- ‘The most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious and creative writer going’ Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl
- ’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 Herald
- ‘Oates is an inspired writer, and a formidable psychologist. She has a thrilling way of grasping an emotion, wasting no time and launching herself straight at the aching heart of the matter’ Independent