Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates

A Fair Maiden

by Joyce Carol Oates

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2542145,069 (3.48)41



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 41 mentions

English (19)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I was really creeped out by the subject, especially given the child's apparent enjoyment of the situation, but still, this is one of JCO's better-written novels with great point-of-view narration, so I have to give it 4****. ( )
  CurrerBell | Oct 29, 2015 |
Interesting story line. Unlike any other I have read. The author is highly creative and able to set mood well. I am sure some will not like the book because of the inclusion of sex of a minor by an elderly man and becuase of flawed and unhealthy characters. None of the characters could be considered as selfless or worthy of praise. Even Katya is crude and cruel at times. The story brings to light the meaning of love and it shows how relationships can be a mixture of cruelty and kindness. The story is believable and well developed. Joyce seems a like a modern day Edgar Allan Poe. ( )
  GlennBell | Jan 21, 2015 |
I am ambivalent about this book. On the one hand I read it in a day because I had to know what would happen, but for me it lacked a sense of urgency in the book itself. Still not sure how I feel about the ending either. ( )
  hannawy | Feb 5, 2014 |
A quick read where the main character, Katya, is captured wonderfully with all the insecurities and indecisiveness of a teenage girl. Joyce Carol Oates leaves some ends open in this novel (Naomi, for instance), but only the most insistent reader would dwell on it. ( )
  SarahWagner503 | Jan 19, 2014 |
This book is standard Joyce Carol Oates. It's dark, it's gothic and it's deep.

This book is the story of the lamentable 16 year old Katya and her paramour 68 year old Marcus. Katya is working as a nanny on the Jersey shore escaping her difficult home life. She meets Marcus an intriguingly handsome artist, writer and musician. They develop a rapport though that is where this book stops being straight forward. You constantly find yourself pitying Katya and suspecting the worst of Marcus but somehow it always seems his motives are pure. Katya having lived a lifetime before her summer at the shore thinks she knows exactly what she is doing and plays her old lover for a fool. Things unravel into abuse when Marcus reveals his true motives in befriending young Katya.

( )
  sarahzilkastarke | Nov 20, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0151015163, Hardcover)

Sixteen-year-old Katya Spivak is out for a walk on the gracious streets of Bayhead Harbor with her two summer babysitting charges when she’s approached by silver-haired, elegant Marcus Kidder. At first his interest in her seems harmless, even pleasant; like his name, a sort of gentle joke. His beautiful home, the children’s books he’s written, his classical music, the marvelous art in his study, his lavish presents to her — Mr. Kidder’s life couldn’t be more different from Katya’s drab working-class existence back home in South Jersey, or more enticing. But by degrees, almost imperceptibly, something changes, and posing for Mr. Kidder’s new painting isn’t the lighthearted endeavor it once was. What does he really want from her? And how far will he go to get it?

In the tradition of Oates’s classic story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" A Fair Maiden is an unsettling, ambiguous tale of desire and control.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Katya Spiva is walking with her two summer babysitting charges in Bayhead Harbor, New Jersey, when she's approached by silver-haired, gentlemanly Marcus Kidder, a local resident of some renown. What does this mysterious rich man really want from Katya, who is young enough to be his granddaughter? And what will he risk to get it?… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
3 avail.
38 wanted
3 pay3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.48)
0.5 1
1 1
1.5 1
2 3
2.5 6
3 23
3.5 6
4 35
4.5 1
5 6


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,879,425 books! | Top bar: Always visible