Joyce Carol Oates is going to be speaking here next week and I’m looking forward to hearing her.
But here’s the thing: I’ve hated everything I’ve ever read by her. I plowed through a couple of her novels many years ago when I was in a depressing period of my life, and they added a layer of angst that I didn’t need then and I don’t want now.
But she’s so prolific! Her characters are so complex! She’s so famous! She’s won the National Book Award! She gets her best ideas while VACUUMING!
We have nothing — nothing — in common. Except growing up in upstate New York.
Anyone have a recommendation for something that’s not terribly long or terribly depressing that I can whip through in my spare time in the next several days? Maybe some short stories? I downloaded a free excerpt of Little Bird of Heaven for the iPad before deciding whether or not to buy the e-book, but a couple of chapters into it I’m getting that creepy dark upstate New York vibe that I’ve spent decades escaping…
I’m not looking for pink ponies and rainbows, just something that won’t suck me into 600 pages of miserable people and their impossible lives.
Thanks for any suggestions.