A Book of American Martyrs: A Novel

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“Oates’ American saga captivates because it exists within an actual drama playing out across the country...Martyrs is a graceful and excruciating story of two families who do not live very far apart, but exist in different realities. ” --USA Today, 4-star review

“Successful because [Oates] refuses to satirize or dehumanize anyone, even murderous foes of abortion...With its wrath and violence, A Book of American Martyrs offers this teaspoon of warmth in these troubled times: that it is possible to be wrong without surrendering your humanity.”  --Los Angeles Times

“The most relevant book of Oates’s half-century-long career, a powerful reminder that fiction can be as timely as this morning’s tweets but infinitely more illuminating.” --Washington Post

A powerfully resonant and provocative novel from American master and New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates

In this striking, enormously affecting novel, Joyce Carol Oates tells the story of two very different and yet intimately linked American families. Luther Dunphy is an ardent Evangelical who envisions himself as acting out God’s will when he assassinates an abortion provider in his small Ohio town while Augustus Voorhees, the idealistic but self-regarding doctor who is killed, leaves behind a wife and children scarred and embittered by grief.

In her moving, insightful portrait, Joyce Carol Oates fully inhabits the perspectives of two interwoven families whose destinies are defined by their warring convictions and squarely-but with great empathy-confronts an intractable, abiding rift in American society. 

A Book of American Martyrs is a stunning, timely depiction of an issue hotly debated on a national stage but which makes itself felt most lastingly in communities torn apart by violence and hatred.

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3.8
12 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins
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Published on
Feb 7, 2017
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Pages
752
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ISBN
9780062643063
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Political
Fiction / Psychological
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the author of Bellefleur: A “psychologically incisive” glimpse into the mind of a deranged predator and the boy he abducts to be his son (Booklist).
 
Robbie Whitcomb is five years old when he’s taken from his mother in a mall parking lot. In her attempt to chase the kidnapper, she’s left badly injured and permanently disfigured. Such are the methods of the man who calls himself Daddy Love—a man known to the rest of the world as charismatic preacher Chester Cash.
 
For the next six years, Robbie is to be Daddy’s son. That means doing whatever Daddy says—and giving him whatever he wants. Soon Robbie learns to accept his new name, Gideon. He also learns that he is not the first of Daddy Love’s sons. And that each of the others, after reaching a certain age, was never seen again.
 
As Robbie’s mother recovers from her wounds, her life and marriage are a daily struggle. But as years go by, she maintains a flicker of hope that her son is still alive. Meanwhile, Robbie approaches the “bittersweet age” with no illusions about his fate. But somewhere within this tortured child lies a spark of rebellion. And he knows all too well what survival requires.
 
“After all these years, Joyce Carol Oates can still give me the creeps.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
 
“A lean and disturbing tale that reverberates after its ending.” —The Columbus Dispatch
 
“Oates makes us squirm as she forces us to see some of the action through Love’s twisted and warped perspective.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“This unsettling tale showcases Oates’s masterful storytelling.” —Publishers Weekly
A BOOKLIST BEST DEBUT NOVEL OF THE YEAR

One very special work of art—a Chaim Soutine painting—will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this enthralling and transporting debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles.

It is 1939 in Vienna, and as the specter of war darkens Europe, Rose Zimmer’s parents are desperate. Unable to get out of Austria, they manage to secure passage for their young daughter on a kindertransport, and send her to live with strangers in England.

Six years later, the war finally over, a grief-stricken Rose attempts to build a life for herself. Alone in London, devastated, she cannot help but try to search out one piece of her childhood: the Chaim Soutine painting her mother had cherished.

Many years later, the painting finds its way to America. In modern-day Los Angeles, Lizzie Goldstein has returned home for her father’s funeral. Newly single and unsure of her path, she also carries a burden of guilt that cannot be displaced. Years ago, as a teenager, Lizzie threw a party at her father’s house with unexpected but far-reaching consequences. The Soutine painting that she loved and had provided lasting comfort to her after her own mother had died was stolen, and has never been recovered.

This painting will bring Lizzie and Rose together and ignite an unexpected friendship, eventually revealing long-held secrets that hold painful truths. Spanning decades and unfolding in crystalline, atmospheric prose, The Fortunate Ones is a haunting story of longing, devastation, and forgiveness, and a deep examination of the bonds and desires that map our private histories.

In this taut and fascinating novel, the bestselling, New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of The Sacrifice, The Accursed, and Lovely, Dark, Deep examines the mysteries of memory, personality, and identity and pierces the enigmatic force that drives human lives—love.

In 1965, neuroscientist Margot Sharpe meets the attractive, charismatic Elihu Hoopes—the “man without a shadow”—whose devastated memory, unable to store new experiences or to retrieve the old, will make him the most famous and most studied amnesiac in history. Over the course of the next thirty years, Margot herself becomes famous for her experiments with E. H.—and inadvertently falls in love with him, despite the ethical ambiguity of their affair, and though he remains forever elusive and mysterious to her, haunted by mysteries of the past.

The Man Without a Shadow tracks the intimate, illicit relationship between Margot and Eli, as scientist and subject embark upon an exploration of the labyrinthine mysteries of the human brain. Where does “memory” reside? Where is “love”? Is it possible to love an individual who cannot love you, who cannot “remember” you from one meeting to the next?

Made vivid by her exceptional eye for detail and her keen insight into the human psyche, The Man Without A Shadow is a unique story of forbidden love, a kind of secret, evolving marriage, depicted in Joyce Carol Oates’s tight, impassioned prose. It is an uncanny, ambitious, and structurally complex novel that penetrates the mind and illuminates the heart.

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