#8 – Marya: A Life by Joyce Carol Oates

9 02 2009

I have long been a fan of Joyce Carol Oates and have read many of her works.  When reviewing Boxall’s suggestions of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die I wasn’t surprised to see that four of Oates’ books made the list.  I was surprised that I have read none of the four.  When making a list of books to check out from the library, I was sure to add Oates’ works to the list.

Marya: A Life was available when I last visited the library.  Written in 1986, this is the tale of Marya Knauer’s life from early childhood to her mid-thirties.  It follows as she grows from an abandoned child to an accomplished adult. 

Although I enjoyed this book, it is not, in my opinion, one of Oates’ best works.  Certainly she has grown as a writer since 1986.  Marya: A Life holds a glimpse of the wonderful author Oates will evolve into.  It is worth reading, but if you haven’t read Oates before pick up We Were The Mulvaneys or The Falls instead.

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2 responses

9 02 2009
Sarah

I love Oats and have read I think all of her books. I liked this one too, but you are right I think We Were the Mulvaneys was better by far.

9 02 2009
Rix

Ugh. This means I have to pick that book up again? I tried twice to get through the Mulvaneys and for some reason I just couldn’t. I like you both and trust your judgement so I guess I gotta give it one more try. I hated Middlesex the first two time I started but loved it the third, so I suppose…

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