Author(s): Joyce Carol Oates
Fifteen-year-old Katya Spivak is out for a walk on the streets of Bayhead Harbor, New Jersey, when she is approached by silver-haired, elegant Marcus Kidder. At first his interest in her seems harmless. The world he inhabits acts as a tonic to her drab existence. And as a children's book writer, he seems to be a man she can trust. His home is beautiful and he lavishes gifts on her. Everything about him is enticing - perhaps too enticing? Like a moth to the light Katya agrees to pose for a painting. But by degrees something changes. Being Mr Kidder's muse is not the easy endeavour it once was. What does he really want from her? And how far will he go to get it? This spare, chilling novel shows Joyce Carol Oates at the height of her powers as a literary storyteller.
'Exceptional talent for the Gothic/thriller genre... the narrative tension becomes almost unbearable' TLS. 'Pure fairytale, a modern day Little Red Riding Hood in which Katya exacts her own revenge against the wolf... Oates has an indisputable ability to sustain ambient darkness and ominous unease' Guardian. 'The prose is taut, the insight shrewd and the violence vivid, but what lingers in the mind is the painful ambiguity of contemporary human interaction' New Statesman. 'A delightfully chilling and playful novella from a literary genius' Daily Mail.
Joyce Carol Oates is an American literary giant whose work embraces full-length fiction, short stories, poetry, plays, essays and criticism. Her many novels include We Were the Mulvaneys, which was an Oprah Book Club Choice, and Blonde, which was nominated for a National Book Award. Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton. She lives in New Jersey.