“Sourland” is Joyce Carol Oates latest story collection, her 23rd according to the list inside the book, although there are a few from smaller presses that aren’t listed (“Wild Saturdays”, “Oates in Exile”). Oates’ stories describe the horror that can occur in real life. Monsters in the traditional sense are absent from her stories, replaced by terrors that can occur in our cities and small towns as we live our lives. So far, I’ve only read the first story in this collection, “Pumpkin-Head”. It has some classic Oatesian characteristics – a relationship gone bad, antagonist-as-self, and villains lurking inside and out.
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