Joyce Carol Oates pulls out all the stops in this chilling female-centric noir collection featuring brand-new writing from Margaret Atwood, Aimee Bender, Edwidge Danticat, and more.
Livia Llewellyn's "One of These Nights" has won the Edgar Award for Best Short Story, presented by the Mystery Writers of America!
"Miss Martin" by Sheila Kohler has been selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2021
"An eclectic anthology edited by Joyce Carol Oates. It features the work of 16 distinguished writers, including Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin, Steph Cha and Ms. Oates herself. The theme is 'female noir,' with shades encompassing 'sociological realism...Grand Guignol surrealism...erotic playfulness [and] dark fairy-tale determinism.' Noir sensibility, male or female, Ms. Oates concludes, is 'not so much pessimistic as starkly realist, free of romantic illusion, expecting the less benign, resigned to the worst.' If not the ideal cup of holiday cheer, then, perhaps a perfect tonic for the New Year?"
--Wall Street Journal
"The indefatigable Joyce Carol Oates gathers a strong list of names for Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers. Emerging and established authors provide attention-grabbing short works: especially notable are Edwidge Danticat's story on the quotidian horror of domestic violence, Bernice L. McFadden's comic take on the appropriation of racial friendship, and Lisa Ling's illustrations of a grotesque marriage."
--Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
"But of course, in the end, it isn't the themes or the innovations on the format of the short story anthology that make the tales collected in Cutting Edge most 'feel' as if you were reading Joyce Carol Oates herself. It is the writing. The tight plots and fresh, flowing prose that go about their business until--snap!--the story's well-oiled mousetrap does its job."
--New York Journal of Books
Joyce Carol Oates, a queenpin of the noir genre, has brought her keen and discerning eye to the curation of an outstanding anthology of brand-new top-shelf short stories (and poems by Margaret Atwood!). While bad men are not always the victims in these tales, they get their due often enough to satisfy readers who are sick and tired of the gendered status quo, or who just want to have a little bit of fun at the expense of a crumbling patriarchal society. This stylistically diverse collection will make you squirm in your seat, stay up at night, laugh out loud, and inevitably wish for more.
Featuring brand-new stories by: Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood (poems), Valerie Martin, Aimee Bender, Edwidge Danticat, Sheila Kohler, S.A. Solomon, S.J. Rozan, Lucy Taylor, Cassandra Khaw, Bernice L. McFadden, Jennifer Morales, Elizabeth McCracken, Livia Llewellyn, Lisa Lim, and Steph Cha.
From the introduction by Joyce Carol Oates:
"The particular strength of the female noir vision isn't a recognizable style but rather a defiantly female, indeed feminist, perspective. Cutting Edge brings together a considerable range of twenty-first-century female voices, from sociological realism (Cha) to Grand Guignol surrealism (Oates); from erotic playfulness (Bender) to dark fairy-tale determinism (Khaw). Here is a brilliantly deadpan graphic story by Lisa Lim, and here are brilliantly executed poems by Margaret Atwood. Artwork by Laurel Hausler is striking and original, sinister and triumphant; Noir Dame (on the front cover) is the perfect image of a mysterious beauty, far more than merely skin-deep, and essentially unknowable."