With an executive order from President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, the United States Marine Corps - the last all-white branch of the U.S. military - was forced to begin recruiting and enlisting African Americans. The first black recruits received basic training at the segregated Camp Montford Point, adjacent to Camp Lejeune, near Jacksonville, North Carolina.
When a 14-year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanizes her community, exacerbating the racial tension that has been simmering in this New Jersey town for decades. In this magisterial work of fiction, Joyce Carol Oates explores the uneasy fault lines in a racially troubled society. In such a tense, charged atmosphere, Oates reveals that there must always be a sacrifice - of innocence, truth, trust, and, ultimately, of lives.
"What happened to the end?"
Frustrated by the limitations of cross-race communication in her predominantly white town, a young African American girl teaches herself to sign. Years later, Laurel uproots her husband and daughters from their downwardly mobile, overeducated, and underpaid life in the South End of Boston for Cortland County, Massachusetts. The Freemans are to take part in an experiment: They've been hired by a private research institute to teach sign language to a chimpanzee.
Ranging in age from six to 40, 38 sons and daughters of lesbians offer brief essays that could be valuable to like offspring, as well as to relatives and friends trying to understand the problems such children face. Homophobia, visited upon the children as well as their mothers, is the most commonly cited concern; some younger contributors feel isolated from their peers, and a couple of boys endure rejection from radical lesbian acquaintances.
"Pioneer Work on Lesbian Families"
Best-selling author Joyce Carol Oates returns with an incendiary novel that illuminates the tragic impact of sexual violence, racism, brutality, and power on innocent lives and probes the persistence of stereotypes, the nature of revenge, the complexities of truth, and our insatiable hunger for sensationalism.