- American Appetites
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- American Appetites takes us into affluent, upper-class suburbia in the late American 1980s, where a close-knit group of friends draw closer, and apart, when scandal and tragedy erupt among them. In this privileged milieu with its confident manners and ambiguous morals, Ian and Glynnis McCullough are a much loved and admired couple. After twenty-six years of marriage they can think of themselves (quite justly) as being at the apogee of the American Dream of Success. But as Ian nears his fiftieth birthday things neither of them had anticipated begin to happen to the McCulloughs. There are cracks in the marriage even as there are cracks in the American Dream itself. My success is my problem, Ian would say, and his friends would agree with him, for they too were burdened with the same problem -- "well off beyond all dreams and expectations . . . yet still "ambitious" - though ambitious for what, none could have said." The problem is one he cannot bring himself to share with Glynnis, who is so free of doubt, so secure in their marriage, with her proud cry, My House, My Family, My Life! For a time the cracks are patched over; then, in a moment of irreparable violence, shattering the idyllic community where only good things are supposed to happen, the Dream becomes a nightmare. American Appetites is perhaps the most exciting and provocative novel Joyce Carol Oates has ever written.