Domestic violence, rape, suicide — these are themes Oates returns to again and again in her work. In the working class world of upstate New York she says this was as much a part of the landscape as apple orchards. When she was a kid she didn't think much about the violence that occurred on the edges of her world. That changed as she grew up.And here is a quote from Oates about the nature of life on a farm:
I think probably it was an unusual upbringing because we did work all the time and if I have nothing to do I am very unhappy. I think on a farm basically one is always working. I am not sure that work is always the right word because you are always so absorbed in what you are doing.And here is a blurb from the book's back cover:
The Lost Landscape is an arresting account of the ways in which Oates's life (and her life as a writer) was shaped by early childhood and how her later work was influenced by a hardscrabble rural upbringing.It doesn't sound like typical nostalgic rural blather.