I'LL TAKE YOU THERE
A lonely, brilliant orphan girl, so identity-free she’s variously addressed as Mary Alice, Elise, and Alicia, heads to college in the early ’60s. She joins a sorority, whose members — repulsed by her shabby clothes and unsunny outlook — soon turn on her. She has a breakdown. She falls in love with a black philosophy major. She learns she may not be parentless. When the dazzling Oates turns her keen eye on the life of an intellectual female in the days of Kennedy, the result is intense (the young woman’s stream-of-consciousness meltdown is a thing of alarming beauty) and incisive (her obsessive first love feels cold-water real). This lonely, brilliant girl is captivating by any name.
I'll Take You There