Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"I.D." Joyce Carol Oates.

“I.D.” Joyce Carol Oates

One-minute review: Seems like a chapter from a novel. Teen-age girl, whose face has been messed up by a fall down the stairs awhile ago, three surgeries to her eye socket ago, has been summoned out of class in high school by two police officers, one a male and another a female.

She is taken to the morgue and asked to “I.D.” a woman’s corpse as her mother. The woman has been beaten to shapelessness. But a coat, and a driver’s license in a torn handbag seem to indicate that they were her mother’s possessions.

In a complete state of denial, she refuses to identify the body as her mother and is returned to school. She rejoins her friends.

That’s it!

Comment: The reader is inside the mind of a troubled teen-ager, troubled by her looks, troubled her parents’ relationships. That’s all I can tell you. It’s a vivid re-creation of her mental state. RayS.

The New Yorker (March 29, 2010), 80-88.

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