The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press

Evil Eye

Four Novellas of Love Gone Wrong

by Joyce Carol Oates

“A dazzling, disturbing tour de force of Gothic suspense: four odd, compelling, ingeniously narrated tales that gain in power and resonance when read in conjunction with each other.” —Boston Globe

  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 224
  • Publication Date October 14, 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2288-9
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $14.00
  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 224
  • Publication Date September 03, 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2047-2
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $23.00

About The Book

In Evil Eye, Oates offers four chilling tales about love so powerful that people might die—or kill—for it. In the title story, we meet Mariana, the young fourth wife of a prominent intellectual. When her husband’s first wife comes to visit, Mariana learns a terrible secret that threatens her marriage and sanity. In “So Near Any Time Always,” shy teenager Lizbeth meets Desmond, a charming older boy who offers the first spark of romance. Yet as their relationship blossoms, Lizbeth realizes that a menacing soul lies beneath Desmond’s perfect facade. In “The Execution,” spoiled college student Bart Hansen has planned the perfect crime to get back at his condescending parents. What he didn’t plan on was the resilience of his mother’s love, even in the face of death. And in “The Flatbed,” childhood trauma has prevented Cecelia from enjoying physical intimacy with a man. But when she meets the love of her life, Cecelia must confront the demon who stole her innocence long ago. With the razor-sharp prose that has made Joyce Carol Oates a living legend, Evil Eye shows love as sporadically magical, mysterious, and murderous.


“Exquisitely suspenseful. . . . The relationships between the damaged, sometimes monstrous individuals who people these pages will keep the reader riveted.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“With her focus on deviant and twisted characters, Oates continues to be a worthy descendant of the gothic tradition of Edgar Allan Poe.” —Kirkus Reviews

“These four Gothic tales run the gamut from creepy to mesmerizing. . . . All the while, [Oates] slyly critiques our culture, from parents who don’t protect their young daughters from sexual predators to killers hopped up on prescription meds.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“These potboilers about murder, obsession and death have a genre funkiness, a greasy pulp seaminess, that is reminiscent of forgotten subscription serials and old Twilight Zone installments. . . . For Oates, whose worldview is as flinty as that of any of her male peers, true horror is rooted not in the supernatural—that would be almost reassuring—but in the things that men and women do to each other under the spell of attraction.” —Michael Lindgren, Washington Post

“A quartet of shrewd and unnerving novellas. . . . Oates has a superbly disconcerting gift for orchestrating slowly coalescing realizations that something is horribly wrong.” —Booklist

“A dazzling, disturbing, tour de force of Gothic suspense: four odd, compelling, ingeniously narrated tales that gain in power and resonance when read in conjunction with each other.” —Priscilla Gilman, The Boston Globe

“I’ve often wondered what it’s like to live inside Joyce Carol Oates’ head. . . . She’s been compared to Edgar Allan Poe; I’d call it Poe on steroids. . . . Here, she offers four creepy stories about the power of love, its magic, mystery and its ability to unlock murderous impulses.” —Donna Marchetti, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“An extraordinarily vivid depiction of lives gone awry. . . . A creepy, macabre thrill from start to finish. . . . Terrific stuff.” —Independent (UK)

“Oates at her best—spare, swift, beautifully observed and quietly lethal.” —Times (UK)

“Immediately engaging . . . [the] suspense is palpable. . . . In all the novellas here, and as in much of Oates’s fiction generally, desperation is a major component in any attempt to transcend the isolated self through impulses of love and longing.” —Greg Johnson, Shenandoah

“A proper definition for the word love is as slippery and ambiguous as the future of Oates’ seemingly doomed characters. . . . Oates makes the reader feel as if an evil eye is trained upon them with the passing of each hour and the turning of each page.” —The Missourian (blog)

“In Evil Eye . . . love doesn’t just go wrong; it blows up, drips poison, tortures, kills. Each of the four novellas makes your skin crawl even as it also seems completely believable. . . . It’s hard to tell in these stories who is villain, victim, or innocent witness.” —The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

“[Oates is] the ultimate horror writer. . . . She rivals Dostoevsky in her understanding of the darkest elements of ordinary people.” —David M. Kinchen, The Huntington News

“This is familiar Oates territory, mapped with artistry and care; dark, bloody, and unforgiving.” —Anna Mundow, Barnes & Noble Review

“A stunningly written, disturbing masterpiece. . . . The four worlds that Oates gives us here pull in the reader until she finds herself too fascinated to leave—even when everything gets creepy.” —Emma Cueto, Bustle.com