The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares

The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares

Book - 2011
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An incomparable master storyteller in all forms, in The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares Joyce Carol Oates spins six imaginative tales of suspense. "The Corn Maiden" is the gut-wrenching story of Marissa, a beautiful and sweet eleven-year-old girl with hair the color of corn silk. Taken by an older girl from her school who has told two friends in her thrall of the Indian legend of the Corn Maiden, in which a girl is sacrificed to ensure a good crop, Marissa is kept in a secluded basement and convinced that the world has ended. Marissa's seemingly inevitable fate becomes ever more terrifying as the older girl relishes her power, giving the tale unbearable tension with a shocking conclusion. In "Helping Hands," published here for the first time, a lonely woman meets a man in the unlikely clutter of a dingy charity shop and extends friendship. She has no idea what kinds of doors she may be opening. The powerful stories in this extraordinary collection further enhance Joyce Carol Oates's standing as one of the world's greatest writers of suspense.
Publisher: New York : Mysterious Press ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2011.
ISBN: 9780802126023
Characteristics: 365 p. ; 22 cm.

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ChristchurchLib Jul 13, 2014

"Author Joyce Carol Oates provides plenty of suspense and dread in each of the tales that compose this disturbing collection. The title novella, "The Corn Maiden," explores the relationship between innocence and evil when an 11-year-old girl disappears. Other stories portray love and sexual attraction gone astray, perverse links between twins, childhood trauma, and sibling rivalry. Oates' powerful examination of darkness in the human psyche will make you "turn on all the lights or jump at imagined noises" (Publishers Weekly). If you want more of this prolific author's suspenseful short works, you can find them in The Female of the Species, among others." Thrillers and Suspense July 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/2c47e9e5-d355-491f-87b1-c136ab375b01?postId=36471ee9-07d6-46ed-ba48-5fde3e03c300

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Lexikal
Sep 26, 2012

Joyce Carol Oates writes from the gut and her style reflects this. She also delves into the psychological aspects of horror and fear, and as such, her horror stories won't please or thrill everyone. If your sole idea of "good horror" is Stephen King, you may very well be disappointed, but give her a shot (especially if you like understated ghost movies).

debwalker Mar 10, 2012

"The irrational power of our subconscious narratives is what lends Oates’s horror stories such power, idiosyncrasy and strangeness. It is also, in some cases, what detracts from their full realizations as structured narratives. As with our own everyday nightmares, Oates’s stories too often don’t resolve but simply end, as though from the ringing of a bedside clock. Some of the pieces in The Corn Maiden are so genuinely frightening, however, this may not strike the reader as a shortcoming but a relief."
Andrew Pyper
Globe & Mail

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Lexikal
Sep 26, 2012

Lexikal thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

dhranko Jul 21, 2012

dhranko thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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