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Joyce Carol Oates' The Falls

a novel by Joyce Carol Oates

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A Quick Tip by freckles66

  • Jun 16, 2010
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review by . July 27, 2009
The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates
This is the third book by Oates I’ve read. Although I don’t believe she can write a bad book, for me “The Falls” was not as powerful as “The Gravedigger’s Daughter” or “We were the Mulvaneys.” It’s the story of Ariah Littrell, the musically gifted but awkward daughter of a preacher from Troy, New York. She marries Gilbert Erskine, seminary student and son of another local preacher. After a disastrous honeymoon night in Niagara Falls (not …
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Michele Maldonado Milner ()
Ranked #2514
On your mark, get ready, set and run away for good There's a bold unbridled lie where my soul once stood Fall apart confetti, come on, cry right on my sleeve I am just a ghost of hearts that break bittersweet … more
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About this book


The Falls is a novel by Joyce Carol Oates, originally published in 2004 by the Ecco Press, and winner of the 2005 Prix Femina Etranger.

It tells the story of Ariah, a woman whose husband threw himself over Niagara Falls. The rest of the book is the story of her life and family, and how she finds love, then loses it when Ariah's new husband becomes engrossed in his work on what was to become the Love Canal case. The novel spans the time between 1950, when environmental issues were literally unheard of and 1978, when these issues became the object of nationwide interest and concern. The author makes use of information about the Love Canal scandal and uses information provided by the two books by Lois Marie Gibbs, Love Canal:My Story, and Love Canal:The Story Continues.

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ISBN-10: 0061565342 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780061565342 (pbk.)
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Date Published: June 10, 2008

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