By The North Gate by Joyce Carol Oates
Fawcett Crest Books (paperback), 1971
BLURB FROM THE COVER
By the North Gate is a collection of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates. It was the author’s first book, first published by Vanguard Press in 1963.
The grandfather still lived alone in his log cabin, a ramshackle eyesore that the children and the children’s children, no longer cared to joke about (SWAMPS)
This was my first read-through of By The North Gate, JCO’s first collection of short stories and her first full-length publication. Overall, I thought this was a strong collection. The stories were strong, well-written and engaging for the most part. A Legacy and The Expense of Sprit were the only stories I thought didn’t work. By The North Gate is a good example of what kind of writer JCO would develop into.
SWAMPS: Great little story, very touching in places.
THE CENUS TAKER: I found this story quite disturbing.
CEREMONIES: This story is very enjoyable and had a few sad moments.
SWEET LOVE REMEMBERED: Another nice tale.
BOYS AT A PICNIC: Another story with disturbing undertones.
AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE BLIND: This was a good story, disturbing in places.
IMAGES: I enjoyed this story and liked the way it was structured in a series of time shifts.
EDGE OF THE WORLD: Another good tale.
A LEGACY: I thought this was okay but a little weaker than other stories in the collection.
IN THE OLD WORLD: An enjoyable, engaging tale.
THE FINE WHITE MIST OF WINTER: I really enjoyed this story and love the title.
THE EXPENSE OF SPIRIT: I thought this was just okay.
BY THE NORTH GATE: A really good story to close on.