Cover image for Nemesis
Smith, Rosamond.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : E.P. Dutton, [1990]

General Note:
"A William Abrahams book."
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Author Notes

Joyce Carol Oates was born in 1938 in Upstate, New York. She attended Syracuse University and graduated as Valedictorian. She then attended University of Wisconsin where she earned an M. A.

By the time she was 47 years old, she had published at least that many separate books, including 16 full-length novels and more than a dozen collections of short stories. Some of her works were done under the pseudonym Rosamund Smith. She has also written numerous poems collected in several volumes, at least three plays, many critical essays, and articles and reviews on various subjects while fulfilling her obligations as a professor of English at the University of Windsor, where with her husband Raymond Smith she edited the Ontario Review, which the couple has continued since moving to Princeton in 1978. She has earned a reputation as indubitably one of our most prolific writers and very likely one of our best.

Her fiction alone demonstrates considerable variety, ranging from direct naturalism to complex experiments in form. However, what chiefly makes her work her own is a quality of psychological realism, an uncanny ability to bring to the surface an underlying sense of foreboding or a threat of violence that seems to lurk just around the corner from the everyday domestic lives she depicts so realistically. Her first six novels, including Them (1969), which won the National Book Award, express these qualities in varying ways. she is also the recipient of an NEA grant, a Guggenheim fellowship, the PEN/Malamud Lifetime Achievement Award, and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Lifetime Achievement in American Literature.

She resides in New Jersey.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

When naive music conservatory student Brendan Bauer is accused of murdering the predatory, aging composer who raped him and is suspected of knifing another gay colleague, pianist and faculty member Maggie Blackburn turns sleuth. According to PW , this is the third ``elegant and sensational thriller'' by the pseudonymous Smith, aka Joyce Carol Oates. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The rape of a male graduate student by Rolf Christensen, a famous composer and faculty member, follows a cocktail party given by Maggie Blackburn, director of graduate music education at Curtis Institute of Music in Forest Park, Connecticut. When Brendan Bauer brings charges against Christensen, the less-than-courageous ethics committee generates a cover-up. Someone is out to get Christensen, however, and Bauer seems to be the only suspect. Then Maggie begins an investigation of her own. The story moves at a languid pace through the details of Maggie's life to her championing of her friend. Nemesis is hard to classify. It is not a true ``detection'' mystery, as the author hides everything from the reader; it is not completely satisfying as a novel, since the characters are undeveloped. Yet it is an intriguing tale of life in a music conservatory set within a counterplot of what happens to people when they are touched by evil. Smith is the pseudonym of Joyce Carol Oates.--Ed.-- Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-University Heights, P.L., Ohio (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.