The cover art for Joyce Carol Oates' (left) evocative collection of short stories shows a woman, naked except for a pair of dark shoes, sitting in an armchair in the daytime and bending forward to look out of a window.
Edward Hopper's oil painting Eleven A.M (1926) is a fitting choice for a book of stories where readers observe characters as they observe other people. A man gazes at his naked lover while she sleeps; a bereaved woman becomes unhealthily fixated on the "small close-set eyes" and "hideous protruding tongue" of an obese girl she meets on a cruise.
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