Seeking unshakeable truth

American novelist Joyce Carol Oates is legendarily prolific, the author of 36 novels--including Blonde (2000), Man Crazy (1997) and We Were the Mulvaneys (1996)--together with 19 volumes of short stories, four novellas, seven play collections, eight books of essays, and two books for children and young adults. She is an academic, a professor at Princeton, now in her mid-60s; but with her latest novel she has chosen to look back more than 40 years to her own uncertain undergraduate student days.

I'll Take You There (Fourth Estate, 6th January 2003, paper, £10.99, 0007146442) recalls Oates' ...

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