Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart

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First edition (publ. Dutton)

Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart is a 1990 novel by American novelist Joyce Carol Oates.[1] 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.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

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.

Critical reaction[edit]

Entertainment Weekly gave it an A, calling Oates "a storyteller with few peers".[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oates, Joyce Carol (1990). Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart. E. P. Dutton. ISBN 9780525248606. 
  2. ^ "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
  3. ^ Gene Lyons, Entertainment Weekly, Apr 27, 1990, http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,317241,00.html

External links[edit]