Wonderland (novel)

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Wonderland
WonderOates.jpg
First edition cover
Author Joyce Carol Oates
Country United States
Language English
Series The Wonderland Quartet
Genre Naturalist novel
Publisher Vanguard Press
Publication date
1971
Media type Print (hardcover & paperback)
Pages 512 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-8129-7655-X
OCLC 70265617
813/.54 22
LC Class PS3565.A8 W63 2006
Preceded by them

Wonderland is a 1971 novel by Joyce Carol Oates, the fourth in the so-called Wonderland Quartet. It was a finalist for the annual U.S. National Book Award for Fiction[1] and it has been called one of the prolific author's best books.[2][3]

Wonderland follows the character Jesse Vogel from his childhood in the Great Depression to his marriage and career in the late 1960s. Oates later wrote that Jesse is a protagonist who does not have an identity unless he is "deeply involved in meaningful experience", a theme that allowed her to address both what she calls "the phantasmagoria of personality" and the faceless nature of the novelist.[4]

Oates wrote in a 1992 Afterword that Wonderland among her early novels was "the most bizarre and obsessive" and "the most painful to write".[4] Oates continued to think about the novel after its completion, and rewrote the ending for the 1972 paperback edition.[4] She also continued to write about the Vogels: the play Ontological Proof of My Existence is an expansion of Jesse's visit to Toronto in the novel, and she considers the story 'How I Contemplated the World from the Detroit House of Correction, and Began My Life Over Again' "an analogue of Shelley [Vogel]'s experience as a runaway to Toledo."[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Book Awards – 1972". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  2. ^ Davis, Duane. "Joyce Carol Oates for dummies", "Where to start", "Onto the novels" (series of articles). The Rocky Mountain News, June 13, 2003. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  3. ^ "Book News: Daily Oates Consumption". Entertainment Weekly, July 6, 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  4. ^ a b c d "Wonderland". Celestial Timepiece: A Joyce Carol Oates Home Page. Retrieved 2008-10-29.