The latest Ecco reissue of Joyce Carol Oates’ early classics: a fiery gothic tale of doomed fates and demons of biblical proportions in rural New York state
Nathan Vickery came into the world amid unfortunate circumstances. His mother, Elsa Vickery, daughter of an agnostic small town doctor and his pious wife, was brutally assaulted at the age of seventeen. The son she gave birth to in the wake of this event is brought up by his grandmother as a devoted Christian. At the age of seven, Nathan begins to see visions of Christ and embarks on a path as a prodigy boy-preacher, hurtling toward enlightenment while increasingly falling under the dangerous spell of power.
Nathan becomes the leader of an evangelical church, accumulating vast riches from donation. Each year, his visions grow more elaborate and grandiose. When he suddenly feels that God has forsaken him, is it punishment for indulging in the sins of lust, pride, and greed that he has long preached against?
Joyce Carol Oates’s talent for searing psychological inquiry and her eye for detail as well as her knack for indelible character portrayals and unflinching social commentary are fully on display in Son of the Morning. Fans of her work will be thrilled to see this early novel, the influences of which can be observed in later tour-de-force works like A Book of American Martyrs and The Sacrifice.
Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. Her most recent novel is A Book of American Martyrs. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.