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Joyce Carol Oates is an unparalleled investigator of human personality. In these eight stories, she deftly tests the bonds between damaged individualsâbrother and sister, teacher and student, two lonesome strangers on a subwayâin the fearless prose for which sheâs become so celebrated. In the title story, a white, aspiring professor in Detroit tries to shake a black, male shadow during the summer of the cityâs 1967 race riots. In ÂThe Rescuer,â a promising graduate student detours to inner city Trenton, New Jersey, to save her brother from a downward spiral, but finds herself entranced by his dangerous new world. Meanwhile, a young woman of a much different breed prowls the New York City subways in search of her perfect man in ÂLorelei.â In eight these biting and beautiful pieces, Oates confronts the demons within us. In the end, sometimes itâs the human who wins, and sometimes itâs the demon.