Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart
Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart is a 1990 novel by American novelist Joyce Carol Oates. The title is taken from "In the Desert", a poem by Stephen Crane. Oates's novel was nominated for best work of fiction in the 1990 National Book Awards.
In Hammond, New York, in the early 1950s, a young girl named Iris Courtney and her black friend Jinx Fairchild are united by a murder that they commit in self-defense. From this central moment, this novel weaves out the stories of two families that intercross across divisions of race and class.
Entertainment Weekly gave it an A, calling Oates "a storyteller with few peers".
- Oates, Joyce Carol (1990). Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart. E. P. Dutton. ISBN 9780525248606.
- "National Book Award Nominations Announced : Literature: Nominees include two first-time novelists and an 88-year-old writer", LA Times, 1990/10/20, http://articles.latimes.com/1990-10-20/entertainment/ca-2485_1_national-book-award
- Gene Lyons, Entertainment Weekly, Apr 27, 1990, http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,317241,00.html