Book review: Black Girl / White Girl

Book Cover
Joyce Carol Oates' novel Black Girl / White Girl "is a searing double portrait of 'black' and 'white', of race and civil rights in post-Vietnam America".

Book reviewer Arlene McKanic states "Joyce Carol Oates is masterful at depicting ugliness, and the list of what is ugly in her world seems endless: the smell of unwashed flesh with its grease and pimples, overflowing trash, ill-fitting clothes, dying canals gleaming with toxins, the indignity of the female body and its processes. Moreover, there's the ugliness of her characters' dark, unspeakable and sometimes murderous impulses. The Bryn Mawr-like campus in her latest novel, though pretty enough to an outsider, partakes of this general ugliness. As one might guess from the book's title, the perversity of American race relations is one of the themes of Black Girl / White Girl."

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