"Joyce remarked that behind all her fiction lay an imperishable sense of reality' derived primarily for the natural settings and economically straitened circumstances of her family backgrounda reality she has transcribed faithfully and sometimes obsessively in her fiction" (Johnson 10). "In 1986, when Joyce Carol Oates published Marya: A Life, she described the novel as a blending of her mother's early life and her own In Marya, the emotional matrix of Marya's childhood is virtually identical to Carolina's" (Johnson 8). Tracing back to Joyce's maternal grandparents, we see Stephen and Elizabeth Bush who came to the United States from Budapest in 1902 (Johnson 3). The couple "had been urged to emigrate by family members already living in Buffalo, New York. The couple settled near the Black Rock section of the city, a bleak waterfront area dominated by the Niagara River'" (Johnson 3).
Although conditions in New York were better than those in Hungary, immigrant life was difficult for the young couple, especially as the size of the family increased The clash... [continues]
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