Summer 1995 • Vol. XVII No. 3/4 FictionJuly 1, 1995 |

Death Mother

Driving the car fast, then faster. Then braking. Then releasing the brake. And again her foot hard on the gas pedal and the car leapt forward and I wasn't crying, the side of my head striking the door handle but I wasn't crying. It's right for you to die with your mother she was saying. I'm your mother, I'm your mother, I'm your mother. Drinking from the thermos clasped tight between her knees. Radio turned up high. So she'd sing. Talk to herself, and to me, break off singing and begin to laugh, and to sob. You love me don't you, you're my baby girl, they can't take you from me. I'm your mother and the car began to shudder, the gas pedal pressed to the floor and my head struck the window and everything went flamey-bright and went out.                       ☙ She saw, on the opposite bank, across the gorge, perhaps fifty feet away, an absolutely still, unmoving figure—a woman? in white?—and came to a halt, staring. Her mind was

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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

Driving the car fast, then faster. Then braking. Then releasing the brake. And again her foot hard on the gas pedal and the car leapt forward and I wasn't crying, […]

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