Patricide: A Novella (Kindle Single)

By Joyce Carol Oates

Roland Marks is a Nobel Prize successful novelist with a penchant for young women and 4 marriages at the back of him. Lou-Lou Marks, his grown daughter, is a profitable educational in her personal correct. yet her actual profession lies in getting to her father. An egomaniacal and emotionally manipulative guy, he calls for of her absolute filial loyalty and an uncompromising acquiescence to his each need—her basically gift is his approval, which she feels she by no means totally gets, yet desperately wishes. whilst Roland falls in love with a girl fifty years his junior, Lou-Lou senses the precarious decline of her energy. purpose on fighting Roland from marrying for a 5th time and signing away his estate—and her inheritance—the courting takes a darkly comical flip. Astute, insightful, and mordantly hilarious, Patricide is Joyce Carol Oates at her best.

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I puzzled how. (At seventy-four, my father used to be nonetheless a virile man—it would appear. ) (Yet, at twenty-four, his new lover can be repelled via him—wasn’t that moderate to consider? ) (No. this isn't an inexpensive state of affairs. ) (Yes. it truly is totally reasonable—it is pragmatic. she's going to marry him for his cash and his reputation and never his “virility. ”) Lying in my mattress in Skaatskill, i used to be helpless in the grinding maw of such obsessive options. “He won’t betray me. no matter if he marries her . . . ” (Ridiculous! He’d betrayed nearly every person in his existence, each woman. Why now not trustworthy outdated Lou-Lou with her pearly fake enamel? ) Dad had requested me to proceed to “check” the home, so after all I did. Bitterly resenting being handled as a servant and yet—grateful. greater than i wanted, I visited the home; I introduced in Dad’s mail, which was once enormous; looked after it, left it in rigorously exact stacks on his desk—the paintings of an assistant; however the assistant wasn’t at the premises, I was. At Riverdale, I now left my place of work quickly at 5:00 P. M. such a lot days, the place as soon as I’d remained until a lot later. And now on Friday afternoons, I occasionally left as early as 3:00 P. M. (“Family matters”—“my father, clinical appointment. ”) Or took the whole afternoon off. there have been educational occasions I needed to attend, national conventions—these I lower brief, to come back to Nyack and force previous the house on Cliff highway which used to be taking a look shut-up, unattended. With my key I enable myself in and prowled the rooms like an awkward ghost. I knew the home so good, yet stumbled. I collided with issues. Seeing my mirrored image in mirrors—“Oh, Lou-Lou? What has occurred? You have been only a lady . . . ” I used to be doing my father’s bidding and but: i used to be an intruder. simply, i'd turn into a vandal. For there has been a few mystery during this position, that would be published to me if I prevailed. notwithstanding Dad could were livid, I seemed through his table drawers, and his submitting cupboards; there have been actually thousands of papers, records, manuscripts in his maintaining, in his examine and in an adjacent room; his older manuscripts, galleys, web page proofs and drafts have been stored quickly on the ny Public Library, which was once negotiating to purchase the complete Marks archive. It used to be no longer precise that my father’s papers have been a mess as I’d advised Max Keller—but they did require a extra systematic organization, which basically i may offer, i assumed. purely I! The exemplary beloved daughter. I lay at the bamboo sofa within the sunroom staring out on the sky and the river less than. quickly, my father and Cameron might return—she was now his “fiancée. ” The Hudson Valley: such attractiveness! however it used to be now not always an obtrusive, seen beauty—the fantastic thing about a river is dependent upon climate, gradations of sunshine. The ceaseless moving of light, shadow. Cloud formations, patches of transparent sky.

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