Winter 2014 • Vol. XXXVI No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 2014 |

The Home at Craigmillnar

Early shift is 6:30 a.m., which was when I arrived at the elder care facility at Eau Claire where I have been an orderly for two years. Maybe thirty minutes after that, the elderly nun's body was discovered in her bed. In fact, I'd gotten to work a few minutes before my shift began as I usually do, in nasty weather especially (as it was that morning: pelting rain, dark-as-night, first week of November), out of a concern for being late. For jobs are not easy to come by, in our economy. And in Oybwa County, Wisconsin, where I have lived all my life except for three-and-a-half years "deployed" in Iraq as a medical worker. I am a conscientious orderly, with a very good reputation at the facility. If I am interviewed by the county medical examiner, I will explain to him: it is a wrongly phrased description—body discovered in bed. For when I entered Sister Mary Alphonsus's room in Unit D, my assumption was that the Sister was alive, and the "discovery" was that she was not alive

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Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys; Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the New York Times bestseller The Accursed. Her memoir The Lost Landscape was published by Ecco in September 2015. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

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Fleuve Bleu

By Joyce Carol Oates

Early shift is 6:30 a.m., which was when I arrived at the elder care facility at Eau Claire where I have been an orderly for two years. Maybe thirty minutes […]

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