Joyce Carol Oates: Zombie (2338 words)


Other Resources

Zombie (1995) is Joyce Carol Oates’s twenty-sixth novel. In this graphically violent contemporary gothic epistolary, Oates recounts the banal circumstances, many structural, that enable a serial killer to target, abduct, and murder victims in Detroit in the mid-1990s.

Context: Jeffrey Dahmer  

Zombie is loosely based on the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer (1960–1994), a sex offender and serial killer arrested in Milwaukee in 1991. Between 1978 and 1991, Dahmer raped, murdered, dismembered, and cannibalised some of his victims. Dahmer’s targets were largely of African American, Latino, and Southeast Asian heritage. While the racialised nature of Dahmer’s crimes …

Citation: Spruce, Hannah. "Zombie". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 June 2021 [, accessed 27 November 2022.]

12198 Zombie 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.