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A fair maiden
Joyce Carol Oates
Adult Fiction OATES

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Summary: Sixteen-year-old Katya Spivak is out for a walk on the gracious streets of Bayhead Harbor with her two summer babysitting charges when she's approached by silver-haired, elegant Marcus Kidder. At first his interest in her seems harmless, even pleasant; like his name, a sort of gentle joke. His beautiful home, the children's books he's written, his classical music, the marvelous art in his study, his lavish presents to her #151; Mr. Kidder's life couldn't be more different from Katya's drab working-class existence back home in South Jersey, or more enticing. But by degrees, almost imperceptibly, something changes, and posing for Mr. Kidder's new painting isn't the lighthearted endeavor it once was. What does he really want from her? And how far will he go to get it?In the tradition of Oates's classic story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" A Fair Maiden is an unsettling, ambiguous tale of desire and control.


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main characters Katya Spivak
Female
Age: 16
Mother is an alcoholic; takes care of two children; mistreated by her employer; intrigued by the attention she receives from Marcus; accepts money from Marcus to help her mother pay off debt; poses for Marcus's paintings which he pays her for; begins to feel used.
Nanny

Marcus Kidder
Male
Age: Elderly
Wealthy
Former children's book author; pays Katya to pose for him; in love with Katya.
Painter



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