It has been years since I read anything by Joyce Carol Oates - and I think until this point, it had always only been short stories. I just finished her novel I'll Take You There and find myself to be satisfied and just a little disturbed.
A first-person narrative, I'll Take You There's narrator is an intelligent, obsessive, needy, and slightly off-balance girl in her college years. With sometimes brutal self-awareness, the narrator seeks to define herself through her surroundings. Though the "self" is something too complicated to understand itself, she tries by turning to other girls her own age, to other intellectuals, and to family - constantly reinventing herself as other might see her - trying to learn who she is by who others think she is.
While riveting, I did not like that the cover of the book is pink and purple with flowers. It looked like a romance novel, and while there were some sordid parts, they were more of the intimate, merciless commentary on female intelligence and social affairs in the sixties sort.
In other news: BBC news is still reporting on Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty's public kiss with Richard Gere; Two U.S. computer engineers are charged with conspiring to steal microchip designs to sell to China's army; And bridges collapse in Vietnam too.