Joyce Carol Oates is simply one of the best american writers at work today. Her incredible 'body of work' contains almost a hundred books: novels, essay collections, poetry volumes, story collections, etc, etc, etc, plays, scripts, etc. I could recommend several novels of her, such as 'We were the Mulvaneys', 'Black Water', 'Man Crazy', 'Zombie', 'Because it is bitter, and because it is my heart', 'I'll take you there', plus the mystery/suspense novels that she has written under the pseudonym Lauren Kelly (not to mention her 'twin' obsession, under pseudonym Rosamond Smith). But if you want to start with something, what better than her stories (some of them praised with O'Henry awards, etc.).- This volume takes the 'Grotesque' as the branch through which the storytelling unleashes. For a better understanging of the grotesque, see Michael BAkhtin use of it in 'Rabelais and his world'. Some of the stories are smart ideas that take over such luminaries like Henry JAmes, in a revision of 'Another turn of the screw', and EA Poe, with the 'Black Cat'. Though Oates's cat is not black, but 'white'... Take a peek!