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Saturday, Sep 26, 2009
by PopMatters Staff
by Joyce Carol Oates
The New York Review of Books (8 October 2009)

“Of the precocious children and adolescents of mid-twentieth-century American fiction—a dazzling lot that includes the tomboys Frankie of Carson McCullers’s The Member of the Wedding (1946) and Scout of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), the murderous eight-year-old Rhoda Penmark of William March’s The Bad Seed (1954), and the slightly older, disaffected Holden Caulfield of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951) and Esther Greenwood of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar (1963)—none is more memorable than eighteen-year-old “Merricat” of Shirley Jackson’s masterpiece of Gothic suspense We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962).”


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