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The Sacrifice
by Joyce Carol Oates


Overview -

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.  Read more...


 
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More About The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates
 
 
 
Overview

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 kind 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.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062332974
  • ISBN-10: 006233297X
  • Publisher: Ecco Press
  • Publish Date: January 2015
  • Page Count: 320
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Crime
Books > Fiction > African American - Contemporary Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-11-24
  • Reviewer: Staff

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. (Jan.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews