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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?: Selected Early Stories
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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?: Selected Early Stories

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  4,487 ratings  ·  172 reviews
The sixties and seventies witnessed the emergence of Joyce Carol Oates as one of America's foremost writers of the short story. In 1962, 'The Fine White Mist of Winter, ' composed when the author was 19 years old, appeared in The Literary Review and was selected for both the O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories of that year.

By the north gate: Edge of the world ;
Hardcover, 522 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Ontario Review Press (first published October 1966)
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,487 ratings  ·  172 reviews

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Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve owned this book for a long time, but for the longest time had only (re)read the title story. Recently, someone had mentioned a specific passage from the story, so I went to this volume to look for it and then ended up rereading the whole story. At the same time, I’d also heard of a couple of Oates’ retellings, a Chekhov and a James Joyce, that happen to be included her as well; I next read those. Looking at the table-of-contents, I figured her “The Turn of the Screw” would be a retelling of ...more
Shades of Flannery O'Connor with this white knuckle title story that will have you squirming. Not recommended for young ladies who are home alone.
I've read the title story but I'm not sure what other (early) stories of hers I've read. Liked that story, though Joyce Carol Oates' stuff is sometimes so edgy and raw it's like trying to swallow razor blades.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
"'The place where you came from ain't there any more, and where you had in mind to go is cancelled out. This place you are now- inside your daddy's house- is nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down any time. You know that and always did know it. You hear me?'"

This is a really creepy little story about the duality of the teenaged mind and the vulnerability that comes along with that. So much tension is excellently built up over the course of the plot, and so much is told about in Connie that
Roxy Smith
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Oates has me convinced that I’m in the story with her characters, they are standing next to me and I can feel their fear, their irritation and even their sadness. In WAYG we get to go inside the head of Connie, a young impressionable teenager who is more concerned about her looks than her own safety, when Arnold Friend shows up at her house her first instinct is to look at herself in the mirror even though she has no idea who this strange boy is. Through Connie’s description of him, we know some ...more
Zuky the BookBum
Be nice to me, be sweet like you can because what else is there for a girl like you but to be sweet and pretty and give in?

Loosely based off of real life killer Charles Schmid, this book is horrifying. My heart was actually pounding heavier than normal while reading this. I've never read any of Oates work before this, but my god is she good at creating tension. Sweat producing tension.

The repetition used to create Arnold Friends menace actually gave me goosebumps, and Ellie, sat motionless and
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americani
Viaggio negli inferi
Molti racconti presi singolarmente sono molto belli. Penso a Come ho osservato il mondo.... in cui una ragazza dell'upper class finita in carcere racconta la propria vita allucinata dalla quale ha trovato la forza di uscire dopo un pestaggio nei bagni della prigione, oppure a Desideri esauditi, in cui si racconta di una coppia di intellettuali nella quale si introduce una studentessa sedicenne, che viene fatta passare per babysitter, rimane incinta, viene sposata. L'ex moglie
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I saw "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" on a list of best short stories and sought it out. It is a creepy, tense story about a teenage girl who skips a family outing to stay home alone, but she gets an unexpected visitor. The story gave me chills.
Pawarut Jongsirirag
สวนตัวชอบเรืองทีเปนปลายเปิดเเบบนี การตีความความหมายหรือตัวตนของตัวละครในเรือง เพราะเราสามารถตีความไปในทางไหนกได นามธรรม รูปธรรม ทำให 10 คนอานกเปนไปไดถึง 10 เนือเรือง ดีจริงๆครับ ...more
Elise (TheBookishActress)
No stars. This is literally my least favorite thing I've read in my entire life. It gave me 300000 nightmares.

I might consider that a good thing, except the story is just an allegory about virginal purity. The brilliant symbolism here? Her house is a vagina. Her house. Is a vagina. HE is a metaphor for a dick. Do you know how fucked up this story is?

Also, terrifying me about the possibility of rape? Not something that deserves any stars whatsoever.

God, I feel gross even talking about this. Ne
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
This creeped me and freaked me out like no other story did for a long time.

I didn't expect this, it seems to be about a pedophilic (?) man, and a self-absorbed teenager who gets herself into trouble, with no way out. I didn't expect this story or how creepy it was, but that man is really terrifying and the way he threatens her is just bad.

It definitely made me feel terrified and uncomfortable.
Yasmeen Zahzah
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review is dedicated entirely to the title story. I've read a few of Oates' stories, however, this story is one of my favorite short stories ever. It combines two elements that truly serve (in my opinion) to engross the reader: the unspoken and timelessness. The story is grotesque and captivating in that so much of what happens or how it happens is never actually mentioned, which is definitely engaging. The reader is therefore pushed into making their own judgments, allowing only their imagi ...more
Sarah Ulrey
Dec 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Oh boy this was creepy. I love this woman, but don't read her if you're struggling with any emotions unless you want them to get deeper and blacker. Her prose will consume you.
มีความเหมือนอยูในยุค คดีของชารลส แมนสัน ชวง 1960s
บทสนทนาทีชวนประหลาด ชวงแรกทีเหมือนจะโรแมนติกจีบหญิง ลอลวงหญิงสาวใหออกมาจากบาน
แตสุดทายแลว ใครเลยจะรูวาเมือเธอตัดสินใจกาวออกจากบานไป เธอจะไดพบโลกอันสดใสสวยงาม หรือนรกบนดินกันแน
เหตุการณแบบนีวัยรุนอเมริกันอานกคงเขาถึงไดงายกวา เพราะเปนภัยแฝงเรืองใกลตัว
กับคนทีชอบฟังเพลง แนวโฟลกปอป
Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
Based on a true story, a pied piper invites a young teen on a vehicular date. He spends time coaxing the young girl out of her home, promising love and bliss behind sinister eyes.

I knew of the true story before reading this tale. Both scare the hell out of me. Not for the faint of heart, this story serves a cautionary tale about placing trust on strangers, even if they wear tight leather jeans and woos like no other.

Willa Grant
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
I picked this up at the library, totally forgetting that I had read it years ago 'til I started to read. I didn't much like this book, I just don't care for her stories & I can't tell you why. They are well written but after reading anything from this author I feel depressed & like my soul is grubby. Bleh says I.
April Cote
Joyce Carol Oates scared me with 20 pages. Damn that was good writing.
Gabriel C.
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: rachel, shorts, 2012
I read this as some kind of harrowing inversion of Philip Roth's ouvre. It starts with a little bit of essentially uninteresting juvenilia, and then moves to a full on Portnoy (and/or Zuckerman) for a good long portion. Everything repeated itself with slightly different names so that I couldn't help but imagine this as a smeared out picture of the author herself, her early twenties to mid thirties or something. I have no idea how old Oates actually was, but that's irrelevant, I guess, for my pur ...more
Julia Gorning
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This story has stuck with me because Connie's character resonates so well with my teenage self. Feeling like you live a dual-life for self-presentation, vanity, a harsh desire for recklessness, yet hesitancy to leave the security of family.. all culminated in a nightmarish encounter. A fable-like story warning to be careful what you wish for. Perhaps most disturbingly, the story is based off a real murderer who got to know everything about each of his victims after pretending to be a high school ...more
Christine Whittington
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection; the title story was beautifully and creepily filmed as "Smooth Talk" with Laura Dern. Oates excels at bringing out the macabre in every day life, e.g. what happens when a 15-year-old girl. as Roger Ebert notes, "flirts in the wrong places." This book, and especially this story, will resonate with those who have had a few close encounters of the wrong kind in our teen years. The menacing stranger in the story was loosely based on a real character, Charles Schmid, "The Pied P ...more
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Masterful writing. She subtly builds the tension in the story in such a way that you don't realize your nerves are on edge until the end of the story. Fantastic story telling. That the story is based on real events adds a extra dimension of creepiness.
Connie could be anyone's 15 year old daughter. This story is a really poignant social commentary about the impact of hyper-sexualized popular film and music on on adolescent children's perceptions about sex and love.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whilst this is very short it is also very effective.
The tension Joyce instils is amazing and the growing unease stays with you at lot longer than it takes to read the story. The writing is brilliant and I cannot fault it!
This is the first time I've read anything by Joyce Carol Oates and I will definitely be checking out her other works.
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing

"Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" may be my favorite short story of all time. I remember being stunned by its darker themes and originality when I first read it in college. I don't know what gave rise to the idea for the story in Oates's mind, but the deeper feelings behind it - and my own interpretions - have stayed with me many years down the road.
Chris Mascaro
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a surprising like for me. I liked the story lines of most the stories, and they are easy to read and have a lot of 'thinking' and depth to the plots.

I had to read this for a class, and thought I would end up skimming this. It was definitely enjoyable.
Katherine Lara
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I sure do not want Arnold Friend as my friend.
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The pacing of this short story is phenomenal...and disturbing. Quite haunting.
Larry Bassett
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: great for JCO short story fans
Shelves: short-stories
This is a good book to experience JCO short stories from the 1960s and 1970s. It has twenty-five selected stories from her six collected works of those decades at the beginning of her writing career.

1963: By the North Gate
1966: Upon the Sweeping Flood
1970: The Wheel of Love
1972: Marriages and Infidelities
1974: The Goddess and Other Women
1977: Night-Side

There are also two uncollected works written during that time period and an interesting four page Afterword by the author written at
Hala al- Abed
In general...
This is one of the weirdest and confusing stories that I’ve ever read. It talked about a teenage beautiful girl that her mother always brings her down, because she was watching her little girl growing up to turn into a beautiful young lady when her mother were getting old to lose her appearance. She was jealous.

Her mother always compared her with her older sister. Her father never stood up for her.

She felt alone even around her own family that’s why she turned to her friends and st
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
It took a couple re-reads of the short story to understand what was going on. Connie is an interesting character, battling with her boundaries and where she stands in the world. When she is left home alone and a man named Arnold Friend dives up to her house, she begins to see a darker side of the world.
This story was intriguing, and definitely worth the read. It is short enough to read in one sitting, although it is packed full of events. I loved the complexity of the story, and how more and mo
Zombieslayer/Alienhunter {merry wanderer of the night}
Where are you going?
To a better year with better books.
Where have you been?
A reality where I lied to myself about finishing this book all the time but haven't touched it since February.

I read the first six stories. I only even remotely liked the last one, and it wasn't awful, but i'm just not feeling it with Oates.
I have short story issues in general (actually trying to finish one collection as we speak to get if off my currently-reading and its late ass the fuck back to the library) and when th
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
So, Did Connie die at the end? 3 9 Oct 04, 2017 05:13PM  
Goodreads Librari...: several different books combined 11 42 Jul 15, 2014 05:50AM  
What's the Name o...: Literature Class [s] 9 57 Aug 25, 2011 06:05AM  
  • Where You'll Find Me and Other Stories
  • The Swimmer
  • Furnace
  • Twin Study
  • A&P: Lust in the Aisles
  • Everyday Use
  • The Collected Stories
  • Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale
  • More of This World or Maybe Another
  • The Minister's Black Veil
  • The Secret Goldfish: Stories
  • Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories
  • Girl Trouble
  • Starr Bright Will Be with You Soon
  • A Multitude of Sins
  • The Night in Question
  • Loot and Other Stories
  • The Lady of the House of Love
Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Prix Femina for The Falls. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Pseudonyms ... Rosamond Smith and Laure ...more
“Why should I want what's good for me?' Beatrice asked him, smiling. 'Is that what you want for yourself - only what's good for you?” 13 likes
“Dorie herself was not very surprised, because a daydreamer is prepared for most things and in a way she had planned even this, though she had not guessed how it would come about.” 7 likes
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