Carthage

Joyce Carol Oates

A young girl’s disappearance rocks a community and a family, in this stirring examination of grief, faith, justice and the atrocities of war, from literary legend Joyce Carol Oates.

Cressida Mayfield has gone missing. The desperate search yields but one clue; she was last seen in the company of Corporal Brett Kincaid, Iraq veteran – and the ex-fiancé of Cressida’s sister. As the deeply traumatized Kincaid struggles to mount a defence, he finds his memories of that terrible night are tangled with those of the most appalling wartime savagery.

Dark and riveting, the nerve-shredding Carthage unravels the devastating consequences of violence on two young lives, while probing the very limits of our capacity for forgiveness.

Reviews of Carthage

    • ‘[Joyce Carol Oates] is simply the most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious and creative writer going, as far as I’m concerned’ Gillian Flynn, author of “Gone Girl”
    • ‘The ever-prolific Joyce Carol Oates is at the top of her game in this suspense-filled thriller … about guilt, punishment and forgiveness’ Financial Times
    • ‘A substantial book that deals with truths of the type that we often do not want to confront … Oates is an ambitious writer of huge confidence … The characters … are brilliantly drawn … but what keeps you going is the writing … Oates writes about America’s big themes. Her prose is elegant. She is the mistress of all she surveys’ The Times
    • ‘”Carthage” is not just the suspense thriller it had seemed at first sight … what it attains is a profound and poignant vision of American guilt, and its potential for some kind of absolution’ John Burnside, Guardian
    • ‘A gripping exploration of a community in crisis after a young girl disappears’ Stella Magazine, Sunday Telegraph
    • ‘The prolific Joyce Carol Oates is back doing what she does best – exposing the darkness of the human heart’ Good Housekeeping
    • ‘Joyce Carol Oates is … a rare example of a prolific author who has managed to maintain her reputation as a serious literary novelist … “Carthage” is an immensely proficient novel, with careful and elegant prose, and interesting experiments with form … an intriguing and unpredictable read. Oates succeeds in portraying the complex damage done to the fabric of a society by war – no matter how far away it is’ Frances Perraudin, Observer
    • ‘Her characters are created with a Dickensian sharpness of detail, and their relationships with one another are often involving; her language is rough-hewn and lovely; her plots are suspenseful and artfully made … Her new novel is her most substantial in some time’ Edmund Gordon, Sunday Times

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