GOING BACK IN TIME AS A PUNISHMENT
HAZARDS OF TIME TRAVEL Joyce Carol Oates Loot.co.za (R286) 4TH ESTATE
JOYCE Carol Oates dispatches novels at such a rate you wonder if she has time to read a newspaper.
Yet such is her unerring ability to reflect the times in which we live, that you can conclude only that this mighty American writer simply never sleeps.
Here, she taps deep into contemporary anxieties over the rise of surveillance, totalitarian governments and invasive technology, through the story of Adriane – a precocious teenager in a future America, who is arrested following a subversive high school speech.
Her punishment is to be teleported back to 1959, where she must live among students of an intellectually conservative college.
There, she studies behavioural psychology under the tutelage of Ira Wolfman, a man she soon suspects might be a fellow transgressor in exile. Adriane, crippled by loneliness, is an easy protagonist for whom to root.
But such is the slippery cleverness of this novel that one is increasingly unclear if the dystopias in which she lives are real, virtual or something else. |