One day an 11-year-old girl disappears. She was playing with friends from school. The crop is strengthened by her blood... Marissa is an innocent girl, with hair the colour of corn-silk.
She does not hold others in strange thrall, as some young women do, she obeys her parents, she does not stay late after school, lingering on her walk through the swaying heads of maize.
She is the perfect sacrifice... In Joyce Carol Oates' nightmarish world, teenaged girls are empowered by ritual killing, plastic surgeons perform bloodcurdling operations and birthdays rip families apart.
Compulsively readable, told in razor-sharp prose, The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares is the brilliant new offspring of one of America's most terrifying imaginations.