A Fair Maiden: A Dark Novel of Suspense

by Joyce Carol Oates

Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on A Fair Maiden: A Dark Novel of Suspense


January 2010 Good Housekeeping selection.


The interplay between Marcus Kidder and Katya Spivak is powered by dubious intention from the moment of their first encounter. He is a 68-year-old member of the established rich in refined Bayhead Harbor; she is 16, a holiday nanny with a South Jersey accent, an absent father who gambles and a mother who drinks. He wears cantaloupe-coloured leisure trousers and has silver hair sprouting from the top of his pressed shirts; she is fresh with youth and looking for adventure. But what price is she prepared to pay, and what exactly is in his mind as he encourages her to let him paint her portrait? Not as you think. Wondrously, Joyce Carol Oates spins the web.

A Fair Maiden: A Dark Novel of Suspense Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Katya Spivak is out for a walk on the gracious streets of Bayhead Harbor, New Jersey, with her two summer babysitting charges when she is approached by silver-haired, elegant Marcus Kidder. At first his interest in her seems harmless, even pleasant; like his name, a sort of gentle joke. His beautiful home, the children's books that he has written, his classical music, the fine art in his study, his lavish gifts to her: Mr. Kidder's life couldn't be more different from Katya's drab working class existence back home - or more enticing. But by degrees, almost imperceptibly, something changes, and posing for Mr Kidder's new painting isn't the light-hearted endeavour it once was. What does he really want from her? And how far will he go to get it? This spare, chilling novel shows Joyce Carol Oates at the height of her powers as a literary storyteller.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781847248589
Publication date: 07/01/2010
Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781847248589
Publication date: 7th January 2010
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc
Format: Hardback
Genres: Literary Fiction,

About Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates, a recipient of the National Book Award , is one of the most highly respected novelists, critic, playwright, poet and author of short stories. Her most recent novels include ‘Break Heart Blues’ and ‘Man Crazy’. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. Her highly acclaimed last novel ‘Blonde’, published in 2000, was shortlisted for the National Book Award.   Author photo © Marion Ettlinger

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