Joyce Carol Oates juxtaposes two periods of time, 1959 and about 80 years later, in this ingenious new novel that depicts both societies having the same kind of anxieties from differing sources. Adriane commits a form of treason in the future and is sentenced to spend four years in the past, starting in 1959 Wisconsin. She is to attend University and blend into the environment, while having no real meaningful contact with anybody. This is a stressful situation to stick anybody in, and Adriane is socially handicapped by being from the future and not understanding how to talk to other people until she finds another prisoner from the future. Does she dare speak to him? Does she dare acknowledge to him that she is not from this time? Could he be a spy, and if so, will she be "deleted?" She is so lonely and desperate to go back to her family, and those two conflicting sides will seal her fate. A masterful story.— Jason Kennedy
An ingenious, dystopian novel of one young woman’s resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society, from the inventive imagination of Joyce Carol Oates
“Time travel” — and its hazards—are made literal in this astonishing new novel in which a recklessly idealistic girl dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled (future) world and is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America — “Wainscotia, Wisconsin”—that existed eighty years before. Cast adrift in time in this idyllic Midwestern town she is set upon a course of “rehabilitation”—but cannot resist falling in love with a fellow exile and questioning the constrains of the Wainscotia world with results that are both devastating and liberating.
Arresting and visionary, Hazards of Time Travel is both a novel of harrowing discovery and an exquisitely wrought love story that may be Joyce Carol Oates’s most unexpected novel so far.
About the Author
Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. Her most recent novel is A Book of American Martyrs. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.
“Joyce Carol Oates reinvents the genre to create a brilliant story of love and exile.”
— James Gleick
“Oates’s writing has always seemed effortless: urgent, unafraid, torrential. She writes like a woman who walks into rough country and doesn’t look back.”
— New York Times Book Review
“A master of sharp dialogue and vibrant descriptions, Oates casts a powerful spell.”
“The most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious, and creative writer going, as far as I’m concerned.”
— Gillian Flynn
“Oates is still casting some awfully dark magic.”
— The Washington Post