Author(s): Joyce Carol Oates
This eerie tale of psychological horror sees the real inhabitants of turn-of-the-century Princeton fall under the influence of a supernatural power. New Jersey, 1905: soon-to-be commander-in-chief Woodrow Wilson is president of Princeton University. On a nearby farm, Socialist author Upton Sinclair, enjoying the success of his novel 'The Jungle', has taken up residence with his family. This is a quiet, bookish community - elite, intellectual and indisputably privileged. But when a savage lynching in a nearby town is hushed up, a horrifying chain of events is initiated - until it becomes apparent that the families of Princeton have been beset by a powerful curse. The Devil has come to this little town and not a soul will be spared. 'The Accursed' marks new territory for the masterful Joyce Carol Oates - narrated with her unmistakable psychological insight, it combines beautifully transporting historical detail with chilling fantastical elements to stunning effect.
'Oates has been fearless in taking on a subject that criss-crossed almost every important strand of mid twentieth century history...Apart from her, only Don Delillo, among today's American novelists, and no one at all among today's American women novelists, would be able to handle such a huge cast of imagined and real characters...A mighty - and a mesmerising - book' Elaine Showalter on Blonde 'One of the female frontrunners for the title of Great American Novelist' Maggie Gee, Sunday Times 'A rather nightmarish celebration of the American dream, of the transformative powers of ambition, talent and love. Its style is a fitting combination of the harsh and lyrical, and has a powerful, seemingly unconscious fluency' Lewis Jones on The Gravedigger's Daughter 'If the phrase "woman of letters" existed, she would be, foremost in this country, entitled to it' John Updike, New Yorker
Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys, which was an Oprah Book Club Choice, and Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University.