Joyce Carol Oates: We Were the Mulvaneys (2442 words)

Joyce Carol Oates’s 26th novel, We Were the Mulvaneys (1996), is a darkly realistic story of an idyllic American family and its fall from grace. Perhaps Oates’s best-known work, it is studied for its literary style and its social and psychological portrayal of the consequences of rape.

Like many of Oates’s novel, this is set in upstate New York, where the Mulvaney family live on a farm called “High Point” from 1955 to 1980. The father, Michael, owns a roofing company, and with his wife, Corinne, is a stalwart of the community. Their oldest son Mike Jr is a star athlete at his school. Their middle son, Patrick, is a deep-thinking student, destined for great things. Their only …

Trimarco, Paola. "We Were the Mulvaneys". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 January 2019
[, accessed 25 August 2019.]

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