Joyce Carol Oates is one of the world's most respected living novelists. Her new work is an intense, deeply moving story of how a young woman finds her place in the world.
'In those days in the early Sixties we were not women yet but girls. This was, without irony, perceived as our advantage.'
So begins 'I'll Take You There', an astonishingly intimate and unsparing self-portrait of a young woman who comes of age in the most turbulent of American decades.
"Anellia" - as she sometimes calls herself - is a student at Syracuse University, the first time she has lived away from her family. Headstrong, passionate, occasionally obsessive, she is pitiless in exposing herself to her new life, as she searches for a place in the world.
In her quest for belonging, Anellia discovers the risks, and curious rewards, of confronting the world: being taken in, and then cruelly rejected, by a "sisterhood" of her fellow students; failing recklessly in love with an older graduate student who happens to be black; making a journey westward when summoned by a figure from her past whom she believed to be dead. Through this triptych of events, the atoms of Anellia's life come together and she begins her journey into
Joyce Carol Oates's new novel confirms her as one of the USA's most important writers. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our times. 'I'll Take You There' is a deeply moving, wry, intense examination of how a girl becomes a young woman.