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American Gothic Tales by Joyce Carol Oates
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American Gothic Tales (1996)

by Joyce Carol Oates (Editor)

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  1. 00
    American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps by Peter Straub (jellyfishjones)
    jellyfishjones: There is some overlap in the selection between Oates' and Straub's collections, but, as evidenced by the 2-volume size, he casts a much wider net. Read this if you couldn't get enough of what you found in American Gothic Tales.
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This is a superbly edited and very accessible collection. Oates has carefully balanced the pieces across a wide array of variables - chronology, subject, length, and style. There is some overlap between this collection and Peter Straub's daunting 2-volume collection "American Fantastic Tales", but Oates' work is a more focused and shrewdly selected survey of essentially the same themes. ( )
  jellyfishjones | Oct 6, 2012 |
This huge collection was used as a textbook for one of my graduate classes. The forty-six stories included follow the development and evolution of the Gothic genre from an excerpt of Charles Brockden Brown’s 1798 novel Weiland, or The Transformation through Nicholson Baker’s 1994 short story “Subsoil.” The collection is intended, as far as I can tell, to gather not only the more significant stories of the genre, but also important stories that may typically go unnoticed by most readers. It is the latter of these which makes this collection so special, I think.

~~Continued on my website (www.robbflynn.com)~~ ( )
  RobbFlynn | Jun 29, 2008 |
This book is worth it just for Stephen King's short story, "The Reach"! ( )
  Angelkae | May 15, 2008 |
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Though in many of its aspects this visible world seems formed in love, the invisible spheres were formed in fright. -- Herman Melville, Moby Dick
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Special thanks to Ellen Datlow, Rosemary Ahern, and Robert Phillips for their thoughtful advice
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How uncanny, how mysterious, how unknowable and infinitely beyond their control must have seemed the vast wilderness of teh New World, to the seventeenth-century Puritan settlers!
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452274893, Paperback)

"Many of the writers in this volume are not 'gothic' writers but simply--writers. Their inclusion here is meant to suggest the richness and magnitude of the gothic-grotesque vision and the inadequacy of genre labels if by 'genre' is meant mere formula." So writes Joyce Carol Oates in a historical introduction to this anthology of 46 tales--tales that span a range from the Puritan paranoia of Charles Brockden Brown (1798) to the biological surrealism of Nicholson Baker (1994). Some critics have written that the gothic sensibility has no relevance in contemporary literature: by showing how gothic tales portray the all-too-current phenomenon of "assaults on individual identity and autonomy," Oates proves them wrong. I predict this will in time be considered a classic and influential anthology.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:13 -0400)

Gothic fiction by more than 40 known and unknown writers. They range from William Sansom's A Woman Seldom Found, on an encounter in Rome between a man and a woman, to Paul Bowle's Allal, on an Arab boy who switches bodies with a snake.

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