Plot summary of Them
Loretta Wendall, her daughter Maureen, and her son Jules are "them"—three characters held together by corroding hatred and mute love.
"Them" are also the forces that tear at their happiness—ignorance, intolerance, the loneliness of being a part and yet apart; the differences between rich and poor, white and black, the loved and the lover.
Through a complex field of time and space—Detroit and its environs between 1937 and 1967—the three Wendalls experience their everydays in the midst of ominous history, trying by almost any means to cope with the "thems" they cannot understand, each seeking desperately to placate a driving restlessness with a freedom of abandon, to find his own identity, to define his unique, invulnerable self. From the Depression of the thirties to the violence of the sixties, Miss Oates penetrates the point of view of each character to show the impact of events upon him, the subtle relationships of each to the other, the innermost feelings and emotions that spur each to his own dream and action.
THEM is an extraordinary novel, a work that once again reveals Miss Oates's remarkable and compassionate insight, her true narrative skill, and her high artistry.
Plot Summary of House of Sand and Fog
In the summer of 1993, Kathy Nicolo is mistakenly evicted from her house-34 Bisgrove Street in Corona, California-because she did not pay the back-taxes owed by the owner of the house at 34 Biscove Street. Her house is purchased at a public auction by Genob Sarhang Massoud Amir Behrani (formerly a colonel in the Imperial Airforce of Iranian dictator Reza Shah Pahlavi) for $45,000.
Behrani gives the county a $10,000 certified check drawn on the Bank of America as down payment. He quickly pays the remaining $35,000 in cash, and, within weeks, has his family moved out of its Berkeley apartment and into the Corona house, from which Kathy was now evicted. Since the house's purchase price was about 1/4 of its market value, Behrani's plan is to resell it for profit. Several weeks prior, his daughter Soraya had married into a wealthy Iranian immigrant family. Although Behrani and his family are U.S. citizens, at this point his new in-laws are not yet. (Cont'd at the link below)