UNHOLY LOVES BY JOYCE CAROL OATES
VANGUARD PRESS (HARDBACK), 1979
BLURB FROM THE COVER
IN UNHOLY LOVES, Joyce Carol Oates turns her piercing eye upon the men and women who people a prestigious upstate college, probing the marriages, affairs and comic intrigues that lie beneath the school’s serene exterior. Among this year’s faculty is Albert St. Dennis – visiting Distinguished Professor of Poetry – a written-out lion who has been persuaded by money to become the college’s most honoured guest. At Woodslee, after a brilliant career in England, he spends his winter of decline. Here he meets Brigit, a passionate divorcée, and Alexis, a pianist and composer, who have embarked on a disastrous love affair.
The hour is late, the hour rings with confusion, the voices and laughter of strangers, and something is happening to Albert St Dennis.
This is my first time reading Unholy Loves. I’m working my way through JCO’s back catalogue. There’s a lot I haven’t read.
I really enjoyed this novel. It’s the best of her earlier novels I’ve read so far. I liked the fact it was set within a University. I’ve not read a lot of fiction set within the academic world. JCO’s more recent, brilliant novel, Mudwoman is another example. It made a nice change. I liked the characters. I thought Brigit and Alexis and their sordid little affair was a lot of fun to read. I liked Albert St Dennis. I liked the setting and the characters and the different perspectives. There was a good mix of funny and sad. I really enjoyed this one. A great example of how good JCO can be when she uses all of her tricks.