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The Female of the Species: Stories of Mystery and Suspense

July 29, 2019

“With wicked insight, Joyce Carol Oates demonstrates why the females of the species—be they six-year olds, seemingly devoted wives, or aging mothers—are by nature more deadly than the males” (cover flap).

Wow, what an interesting book, and how keen are Joyce’s insights into the female psyche! The cover art, Caravaggio’s Judith Beheading Holofernes, speaks volumes about the book’s intent, but it’s only in the reading of these stories that Judith’s dagger gets sharpened to a razor’s edge! I cringe to think that some of these characters actually may inhabit my day-to-day experience, but Joyce Carol has done it again with a remarkable anthology of her very own stories and leaves me in no doubt of the fact. If you haven’t picked up one of these collections yet, I strongly recommend getting to know this master of the genre. A great read from cover to cover! Joyce Carol Oates has done it again with a splendid anthology full of female protagonists!

Oates published her first book in 1962 and has since published 58 novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction.