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The Sacrifice: A Novel
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Published:
HarperAudio 2015
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Description

New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates returns with an incendiary novel that illuminates the tragic impact of sexual violence, racism, brutality, and power on innocent lives and probes the persistence of stereotypes, the nature of revenge, the complexities of truth, and our insatiable hunger for sensationalism

When a fourteen-year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanizes her community, exacerbating the racial tension that has been simmering in this New Jersey town for decades. In this magisterial work of fiction, Joyce Carol Oates explores the uneasy fault lines in a racially troubled society. In such a tense, charged atmosphere, Oates reveals that there must always be a sacrifice—of innocence, truth, trust, and, ultimately, of lives. Unfolding in a succession of multiracial voices, in a community transfixed by this alleged crime and the spectacle unfolding around it, this profound novel exposes what—and who—the "sacrifice" actually is, and what consequences these kinds of events hold for us all.

Working at the height of her powers, Oates offers a sympathetic portrait of the young girl and her mother, and challenges our expectations and beliefs about our society, our biases, and ourselves. As the chorus of its voices—from the police to the media to the victim and her family—reaches a crescendo, The Sacrifice offers a shocking new understanding of power and oppression, innocence and guilt, truth and sensationalism, justice and retribution.

A chilling exploration of complex social, political, and moral themes—the enduring trauma of the past, modern racial and class tensions, the power of secrets, and the primal decisions we all make to protect those we love—The Sacrifice is a major work of fiction from one of our most revered literary masters.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
01/27/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062372390
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Joyce Carol Oates. (2015). The Sacrifice: A Novel. Unabridged HarperAudio.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Joyce Carol Oates. 2015. The Sacrifice: A Novel. HarperAudio.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Joyce Carol Oates, The Sacrifice: A Novel. HarperAudio, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Joyce Carol Oates. The Sacrifice: A Novel. Unabridged HarperAudio, 2015.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:12:59
Date Updated:
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        Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been several times nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. Her most recent novel is A Book of American Martyrs. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

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edition
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title
The Sacrifice
fullDescription

New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates returns with an incendiary novel that illuminates the tragic impact of sexual violence, racism, brutality, and power on innocent lives and probes the persistence of stereotypes, the nature of revenge, the complexities of truth, and our insatiable hunger for sensationalism

When a fourteen-year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanizes her community, exacerbating the racial tension that has been simmering in this New Jersey town for decades. In this magisterial work of fiction, Joyce Carol Oates explores the uneasy fault lines in a racially troubled society. In such a tense, charged atmosphere, Oates reveals that there must always be a sacrifice—of innocence, truth, trust, and, ultimately, of lives. Unfolding in a succession of multiracial voices, in a community transfixed by this alleged crime and the spectacle unfolding around it, this profound novel exposes what—and who—the "sacrifice" actually is, and what consequences these kinds of events hold for us all.

Working at the height of her powers, Oates offers a sympathetic portrait of the young girl and her mother, and challenges our expectations and beliefs about our society, our biases, and ourselves. As the chorus of its voices—from the police to the media to the victim and her family—reaches a crescendo, The Sacrifice offers a shocking new understanding of power and oppression, innocence and guilt, truth and sensationalism, justice and retribution.

A chilling exploration of complex social, political, and moral themes—the enduring trauma of the past, modern racial and class tensions, the power of secrets, and the primal decisions we all make to protect those we love—The Sacrifice is a major work of fiction from one of our most revered literary masters.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: If there could be a better production of this audiobook, I don't see how. Sybilla Frye, a 15-year-old African-American girl, is found savagely beaten and violated by, she says, white cops. But shifting accounts rendered by a quartet of actors plant doubts about Sybilla's story. All four performances are outstanding, especially the wit and sympathy the amazing Bahni Turpin shows her often unreliable characters. The laconic menace Adam Lazarre-White gives Sybilla's violent stepfather is also stunningly effective. Given that once the name Tawana Brawley occurs to you, the bones of this story are predictable, Oates could have advanced her morally complex agenda more crisply. But these actors do a great deal to make the pace compelling and the coming train wreck riveting. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 24, 2014
        In this disjointed tale of race, community, and pride, a teenage black girl named Sybilla Frye is raped and left for dead in the basement of an abandoned New Jersey factory. Inspired by the 1988 Tawana Brawley case, this supposed whodunit becomes clouded by race and politics after Sybilla accuses white police officers of the crime. Her mother, Ednetta Frye, refuses to cooperate with police as outrage boils over in their community of Red Rock, part of the fictional city of Pascayne, N.J. After the spotlight-seeking Rev. Marus Mudrick starts the “Crusade for Justice for Sybilla Frye,” the crime devolves into a nationwide spectacle. Pascayne begins to splinter, and once-certain facts turn to doubts and intrigue until the true reason for the attack becomes clear. New Jersey has been familiar territory for Oates, most recently in her gothic novel The Accursed. In The Sacrifice, however, each chapter jumps to a new, unpredictable perspective, making the story fragmented and often repetitive. Oates’s heavy and overt focus on race leaves little room for nuance, despite the complex and multifaceted events of her book.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2014

        A 14-year-old girl is allegedly the victim of a particularly brutal act of racial violence, and tensions long kept under wraps in a New Jersey town explode. With a 35,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2014
        A fictional account of the infamous Tawana Brawley case.Ednetta Frye has been searching for her daughter for days when a neighbor finds the girl bound with cords and covered in feces. The 14-year-old Sybilla is severely injured, and racial slurs have been scrawled on her body. Sybilla claims that several men-including at least one "white cop"-abducted her and held her captive while they beat her and raped her. But even before Ednetta hides her daughter from the police and social workers who come looking for her-even before they leave the hospital-the girl's account seems to raise more questions than it answers. At this point, most readers will be thinking of Brawley, and Oates' (Carthage, 2014; The Accursed, 2013, etc.) narrative certainly hews closely to the known facts of that 1987 case. But the author also uses fiction as an opportunity to interrogate the circumstances that made Brawley's story a sensation and gave it meaning. Sybilla becomes a symbol of her blighted community, of black mistrust of a mostly white police department, of the way the larger public refuses to take an interest when a black girl is assaulted. The ultimate question seems to be: If Sybilla's story is false, does that make racism-individual acts and structural inequalities-any less true? In order to offer this broad picture, Oates tells her story from a variety of perspectives. Unfortunately, except for adding details about themselves, the multiple narrators mostly just tell us the same information over and over again without adding nuance or fresh insights. And the shifts in point of view can be baffling, sometimes occurring within a single paragraph. This pushes the reader right out of the story, as does the author's unpersuasive attempts to capture the speech of several key characters. Oates revives an old scandal without making it new.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from December 15, 2014
        Everyone remarks on how prolific Oates is, but the real significance of her literary fecundity liesin the power and daring of her novels and short stories and how they provoke and disturb us by tapping into our most elemental fears and desires. Oates is a tireless and explicit explorer of the deep-dark origins of the perpetual battle between female and male, the lust and the terror. Over and over again, Oates dramatizes both random violence against women and the sickening intimacy and betrayal of men's assaults on women who love them. Oates is equally unflinching in her inquiry into class and racial conflicts, and in her imaginative and intrepid variations on actual circumstances and crimes, from the limited choices of disadvantaged women in her Detroit-set National Book Awardwinning them (1969) to Marilyn Monroe's disastrous celebrity in Blonde (2000) to a tale of the opposite lives of two college students in Black Girl/White Girl (2006) to the JonBenet Ramsey case and the horrors of the tabloid press in My Sister, My Love (2008) to the festering wound of a long-ago New Jersey lynching in The Accursed (2013). All of Oates' key themes and strategies converge in her newest taut and unnerving novel. The Sacrifice is set in 1987 in a poor African American neighborhood in a racially dividedNew Jersey city, where Ednetta, as distraught and wailing as a character in a Greek tragedy, is haunting the streets, asking everyone she comes across if they've seen her 14-year-old daughter, Sybilla (which means prophetess or oracle). We quickly learn that Ednetta dropped out of high school when she had her first child at 16 and that she has been living with a notoriously volatile and unfaithful man, Anis, who did time for murdering his wife. Sybilla is soon found by Ada, a courageous substitute teacher who ventures into the foul basement of a long-abandoned riverside factory when she hears a faint cry. The girl, whom Ada remembers as sassy and impudent, is on the floor, tied up and smeared with feces. She has been beaten, and her face is swollen. Racial slurs have been scrawled on her torso. Many readers will recognize this as a variation on the still controversial 1987 Tawana Brawley case, in which a New York State teen found in a similar condition claimed to have been raped and abused by white men, including a police officer and prosecutor. Accordingly, Sybilla insists that white cops abducted and raped her. And just as Brawley drew the very public support of Reverend Al Sharpton, Sybilla is championed by the meticulously tailored and coiffed firebrand, Reverend Marcus Mudrick, who woos the traumatized mother and daughter with roses and limousines as he turns Sybilla's alleged attack into a cause c'l'bre and money magnet. Using Brawley's complexly distressing story as an armature, Oates builds her own gripping tale of how the horrific legacy of slavery has poisoned family relationships and fueled police brutality against African Americans. Ednetta and Sybilla are vividly complex and affecting characters, but it is Oates' compassionate portrait of Anis that most searingly illuminates the consequences of this tragic inheritance. He is tormented by grief and rage over his brother's death at the hands of the police, anguish that drives him to terrorize those closest to him. Oates is equally insightful in her characterization of individuals who seek to exploit the suffering of others, distorting and denying the truth for their own aggrandizement and profit, as well as those who enable them by forsaking common sense in their salacious credulity. Readers may find this boldly incendiary and propulsive novel vexing, even offensive. And Oates fully...

popularity
68
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shortDescription

New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates returns with an incendiary novel that illuminates the tragic impact of sexual violence, racism, brutality, and power on innocent lives and probes the persistence of stereotypes, the nature of revenge, the complexities of truth, and our insatiable hunger for sensationalism

When a fourteen-year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanizes her community, exacerbating the racial tension that has been simmering in this New Jersey town for decades. In this magisterial work of fiction, Joyce Carol Oates explores the uneasy fault lines in a racially troubled society. In such a tense, charged atmosphere, Oates reveals that there must always be a sacrifice—of innocence, truth, trust, and, ultimately, of lives. Unfolding in a succession of multiracial voices, in a community transfixed by this alleged crime and the spectacle unfolding around it, this profound novel...

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