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Babysitter

By Joyce Carol Oates

‘A page-turner … nothing less than magical’ Observer

‘An extraordinary slice of suburban noir’ Daily Mail

From one of America’s most renowned storytellers comes a novel about love and deceit, and lust and redemption, against a background of child abductions in the affluent suburbs of Detroit.

In the waning days of the turbulent 1970s, in the wake of unsolved killings that have shocked Detroit, the lives of several residents are drawn together, with tragic consequences. There is Hannah, wife of a prominent local businessman, who has begun an affair with a darkly charismatic stranger whose identity remains elusive; Mikey, a canny street hustler who finds himself on an unexpected mission to rectify injustice; and the serial killer known as Babysitter, an enigmatic and terrifying figure at the periphery of elite Detroit. As Babysitter continues his rampage of killings, these individuals intersect with one another in startling and unexpected ways.

Suspenseful, brilliantly orchestrated and engrossing, Babysitter is a starkly narrated exploration of the riskiness of pursuing alternate lives, calling into question how far we are willing to go to protect those whom we cherish most. In its scathing indictment of corrupt politics, unexamined racism, and the enabling of sexual predation in America, Babysitter is a thrilling work of contemporary fiction.

‘Simply the most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious and creative writer going, as far as I’m concerned’ Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

‘Joyce Carol Oates is a writer who always takes your breath away’ Mail on Sunday

‘A writer of extraordinary strengths’ Guardian

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 01 Sep 2022
Pages: 448
ISBN: 978-0-00-853681-7
Price: £18.99 (Export Price) , £18.99
Joyce Carol Oates is a novelist, critic, playwright, poet and author of short stories and one of America’s most highly respected literary figures. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys, which was an Oprah Book Club Choice, and Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University and a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction.

Praise for Babysitter -

”'A page-turner . . . the result is nothing less than magical, a piece of work that is light yet dense, frenzied in its detail yet somehow also cool, measured and abstract . . . Definitely one of Oates’s finest achievements to date” - Julie Myerson, Observer

”'[Oates] proves once again her unerring grasp on America’s worst fears and desires in Babysitter, an extraordinary slice of suburban noir” - Daily Mail

”'This pitch-dark pageturner blows you away with brutal vigour” - Mail on Sunday

”'A searing work of slow-burning domestic noir . . . Oates paints an unflinching portrait of 1970s upper-middle-class America, touching on issues of racism, classism, and institutional abuse while exploring society’s tendency to value women solely in relation to the role they fill - be it wife, mother, or sexual object” - Kirkus