Joyce Carol Oates
Adult Fiction OATES
Summary: An Otto Penzler Booknbsp;Sixteen-year-old Katya Spivak is walking with her two summer babysitting charges in Bayhead Harbor, New Jersey, when she's approached by silver-haired courtly Marcus Kidder#151;a local resident of some renown. At first his interest in Katya seems innocent, even as Katya's interest in him seems precociously manipulative. His lovely oceanside home, the children's books he has written, his classical music, and his lavish presents to her#151;Mr. Kidder's life contrasts starkly with Katya's working-class#151;and marginally criminal#151;family background. By almost imperceptible degrees, the relationship between Katya and the gentlemanly Marcus Kidder changes, and posing for him isn't the romantic endeavor it had seemed. What does this mysterious rich man really want from Katya, who is young enough to be his granddaughter? And what will he risk to get it? In the tradition of Oates's classic novella Beasts , A Fair Maiden is an unsettling, ambiguous tale of mounting suspense and gradually unfolding horror.
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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.
Former children's book author; pays Katya to pose for him; in love with Katya.