Zero-sum games are played for lethal stakes in these arresting stories by one of America’s most acclaimed writers, the award-winning, best-selling author of Blonde.
A brilliant young philosophy student bent on seducing her famous philosopher-mentor finds herself outmaneuvered; diabolically clever high school girls wreak a particularly apt sort of vengeance on sexual predators in their community; a woman stalked by a would-be killer may be confiding in the wrong former lover; a young woman is morbidly obsessed by her unfamiliar new role as “mother.” In the collection’s longest story, a much-praised cutting-edge writer cruelly experiments with “drafts” of his own suicide.
In these powerfully wrought stories that hold a mirror up to our time, Joyce Carol Oates has created a world of erotic obsession, thwarted idealism, and ever-shifting identities. Provocative and stunning, Zero-Sum reinforces Oates’s standing as a literary treasure and an artist of the mysterious interior life.
Joyce Carol Oates will be in conversation with local Madison and New York Times best-selling author, Chloe Benjamin.
Copies of Zero-Sum will be distributed for free to all attendees courtesy of a gift from the Cheryl Rosen Weston Estate.
Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Life Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the 2019 Jerusalem Prize for Lifetime Achievement, and has been nominated several times for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national best sellers We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde; and the New York Times best seller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. In 2020 she was awarded the Cino Del Duca World Prize for Literature. She is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Distinguished Professor of the Humanities emerita at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.
A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, LibraryReads favorite, and #1 Indie Next pick, The Immortalists was named a best book of 2018 by NPR, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, and others. The Anatomy of Dreams received the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award and was long listed for the 2014 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Originally from San Francisco, CA, Chloe is a graduate of Vassar College and the M.F.A. in fiction at the University of Wisconsin. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages. She lives with her husband and two Maine Coon cats in Madison, WI, where she is at work on a third novel.