Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Oates, Joyce Carol "The Sacrifice"

Oates, Joyce Carol "The Sacrifice" - 2015

Most of my friends know how much I love Joyce Carol Oates and her books. And even though I have quite a few books on my TBR pile and had vouched not to borrow another book from the library, I couldn't leave this one and not take it home. I did not regret it.

A meticulous rendering of a crime, almost reads like a non-fiction account, you have to remember the whole time that this is fiction. Mind you, I was sure events like this have happened and then I read that this is a retelling of a story that has happened in 1987 to a 14 year old girl called Tawana Brawley. So, well done, JCO.

A great new book for any fan of Joyce Carol Oates or anyone who hasn't read any of her books and wants to become one of her fans. I promise you will be one of them after you read this.

It is a great book about a lot of the troubles that seem to ravage the US American scene at the moment, probably just as much as it did in the Sixties of the past century when they seemed to be on everybody's mind. A book about racism and prejudice, terror and violence, poverty and exploitation, the role of religion and state.

A masterful narration of our time.

From the book cover: "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."

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