A woman's lover seems not to recognize her on the street. A teenage girl accepts a ride from a stranger in a rust-speckled Cadillac. An old man is obsessed by the memory of his innocent childhood intrusion on a half-dressed aunt.
In forty-four very short, very powerful stories, Joyce Carol Oates fashions brief, intensely compact dramas out of the unwieldy material of human experience. The stories in The Assignation are infused with a "radiant intensity," wrote James Atlas in the New York Times Book Review, and they convey the depth and scope of a novel in a few charged pages. The Assignation is an electric display of the talents that make Joyce Carol Oates one of our finest short story writers.