A Widow's Story
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A Widow's Story : A Memoir

3.69 (3,123 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

Unlike anything Joyce Carol Oates has written before, A Widow's Story is the universally acclaimed author's poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of Raymond Smith, her husband of forty-six years, and its wrenching, surprising aftermath. A recent recipient of National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, Oates, whose novels (Blonde, The Gravedigger's Daughter, Little Bird of Heaven, etc.) rank among the very finest in contemporary American fiction, offers an achingly personal story of love and loss. A Widow's Story is a literary memoir on a par with The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and Calvin Trillin's About Alice.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 415 pages
  • 137.16 x 198.12 x 35.56mm | 45.36g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062020501
  • 9780062020505
  • 575,544

Back cover copy

Critics across the country have raved about Joyce Carol Oates's ground-breaking memoir A Widow's Story, lauding its blazing honesty and raw emotion, calling it "immensely moving," "searing," "enthralling," "brave," "slyly mordant," and "astonishingly candid."

On a February morning in 2008, Joyce Carol Oates drove her ailing husband, Raymond Smith, to the emergency room of the Princeton Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. In less than a week, Ray died from a hospital-acquired virulent infection--and Joyce was suddenly faced with the stunning reality of widowhood.

A Widow's Story illuminates one woman's struggle to comprehend a life absent of the partnership that had sustained and defined her for nearly half a century. As never before, Joyce Carol Oates shares the derangement of denial, the anguish of loss, the disorientation of the survivor amid a nightmare of "death duties," and the solace of friendship. Here is a frank acknowledgment of the widow's desperation--only gradually yielding to the recognition that "this is my life now."

Enlivened by the piercing vision, acute perception, and mordant humor that are the hallmarks of the work of Joyce Carol Oates, this moving tale of life and death, love and grief, offers a candid, never-before-glimpsed view of this acclaimed author and fiercely private woman.
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Review Text

"As much a portrait of a unique marriage as a chronicle of grief...immensely moving..." People
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Review quote

A wildly unhinged, deeply intimate look at the eminent author s derangement of Widowhood. ...Oates writes with gut-wrenching honesty and spares no one in ripping the illusions off the face of death...Oates continues to keep her readers guessing at her next thrilling effort. --Kirkus"
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Rating details

3,123 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 25% (789)
4 37% (1,140)
3 25% (768)
2 9% (291)
1 4% (135)
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