The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice

Book - 2015 | First edition.
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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.

Publisher: New York : Ecco, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780062332974
006233297X
Branch Call Number: OAT
Characteristics: 309 pages

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Colleenita
Aug 31, 2017

Disappointingly heavy-handed and caricatured. This is surprising from such a socially aware author...hope it's not typical.

k
kcissell99
Feb 14, 2016

This is so wonderful on audio. The readers are smashing at the dialect. Haunting and harrowing.

athompson10 Aug 15, 2015

A "this is how it could have happened" fictionalization of the Tawana Brawley case. The story is told from several different points of view, the most compelling and disturbing being those of "Sybilla Frye"'s mother and stepfather, both products of urban poverty and violence and both deeply scarred as a result. As a white writer who often depicts African-American characters, JCO should know better than to describe their hair as stiff, oily, coarse, smelly, matted, etc. but she does that throughout the book. A small matter, but as an A-A woman, I find them a very jarring and racist set of terms that just keep popping up.

JCLCherylMY Mar 26, 2015

Joyce Carol Oates's new novel, The Sacrifice, is based largely on the 1987 Tawana Brawley alleged rape case and the author's 1969 novel, them, based on the 1967 race riots. The novel takes place in the fictional Red Rock neighborhood of inner-city Pascayne, New Jersey, in October of 1987. It centers around a black family: Sybilla Frye, 15, allegedly gang raped and beaten by white police officers; her mother, Ednetta Frye; and her stepfather Anis Schutt. At the center of the story are the manipulative Mudrick twins, Rev. Marus Mudrick and his attorney brother Byron; and Leopaldo Quarrquan, the Black Prince. I would recommend this novel not because the narrative is easy, but because it's difficult. The harsh points of view and the disjointed, unsettling writing style serve as societal mirrors worthy of present day contemplation. The Sacrifice adds to the timely and important discussion on race, community and choices. Oates never fails to push her readers beyond their comfort zones.

m
mds9
Mar 25, 2015

Oates' writing is always griping. Her constant exploration of the shadow side of humanness can be heavy on the reader's spirit... but one 'just can put it down' anyway. Is that a good thing or not?

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mds9
Mar 25, 2015

mds9 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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