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Download A Widow's Story: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Widows Story: A Memoir Audiobook, by Joyce Carol Oates Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,402 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Ellen Parker Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2011 ISBN: 9780062027412
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Unlike anything Joyce Carol Oates has written before, A Widow’s Story is the universally acclaimed author’s poignant, intimate memoir about the unexpected death of Raymond Smith, her husband of forty-six years, and its wrenching, surprising aftermath. A recent recipient of National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, Oates, whose novels (Blonde, The Gravedigger’s Daughter, Little Bird of Heaven, etc.) rank among the very finest in contemporary American fiction, offers an achingly personal story of love and loss. A Widow’s Story is a literary memoir on a par with The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and Calvin Trillin’s About Alice.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “'Oates’ prose contains a deep felt rawness which hovers between hope, despair and love.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Oates is an inspired writer, and a formidable psychologist. She has a thrilling way of grasping an emotion, wasting no time and launching herself straight at the aching heart of the matter.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Oates…shines a bright light in every corner in her soul-searing memoir of widowhood.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Protean and unflinching Oates has created an illuminating portrait of a marriage, a searing confrontation with death, an extraordinarily forthright chronicle of mourning, and a profound ‘pilgrimage’ from chaos to coherence.”

    Booklist

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the March2011Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise Caudell | 2/20/2014

    " A deep and moving novel about Joyce Carol Oates loss of her husband. The book moves at a pace that feels right when dealing with the subject of loss and being left alone. It was almost like having Joyce Carol Oates right next to you telling you her story. I found it provacative. It brought up many questions that I have about loss and how it will effect me personally. I learned some valuable information with this book. I gave it 3 stars only because of its heavy subject and the fact that it might not appeal to everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kasa Cotugno | 2/13/2014

    " Although they never may have met in life, Howard Pinter, Ray Smith and John Gregory Dunne will be linked in my mind for the legacy they left behind through the memoirs crafted by their wives. Each had the good fortune to have enjoyed a long fruitful marriage to a woman capable of creating a worthy memorial to his life. Joyce Smith and Joyce Oates are one and the same, but those of us only knowing the Oates half are surprised that she considers the two to be so divergent and that her husband of just over 47 years did not know the writer at all since she didn't share her fiction with him. She has moved on, astoundingly given some of the grieving processes the experienced at her husband's rapid death. But it is wrenching to read what she goes through. No stranger to inerior monologues (e.g., Black Water, Blonde), this is a memoir that only she could write with such conviction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Gleich | 2/7/2014

    " I was a bit disappointed, it was very repetitive and made her look like a victim, I thought. It did bring memories back in flashes of my father's death and how difficult it was for me to accept. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caterina | 2/6/2014

    " while not a JCO follower, i admire her private lonliness... intrigingly honest and at some points startling, a widow's story does what literary magic is supposed to do... it takes us to a place where we may have been or will be at some point in our lifetime and spills our thoughts, feelings, reactions, desires, and phobias onto wisped white pages making us feel less alone... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Roz | 1/5/2014

    " I love Joyce Carol Oates but this memoir about her husband's death and her widowhood should have been edited WAY down. Quite repetitive. I understand she was trying to capture the repetitious "What ifs?" that occur during grief but after a third or fourth go 'round of the same thought/action/memory I was OK to move on in her process. It reads like a long, unedited personal journal where every thought is captured and recaptured--cathartic for her but not engaging to the reader. Not as captivating or thought provoking as Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim.jeannycgmail.com | 1/4/2014

    " For anyone who has been through the loss, Joyce Carol Oates poignantly captures those feelings and moments. Oates is a powerful storyteller, you read her stories and forget you are reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 12/14/2013

    " This was one of my favorite JCO books - it chronicles the first year following the death of her husband. Highly recommended "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane Macaluso | 12/12/2013

    " I have enjoyed the author's fiction, but this dragged a little. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JulieAnne | 11/18/2013

    " Such a rich and authentic story. Filled with strength & vulnerability. Made me question so much in my own life & helped me to feel like I understand one of my favorite authors on such a personal level. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica | 11/14/2013

    " Beautiful, honest, and thoughtful memoir of becoming a widow and how her work and friends carry her through this extremely painful time. I especially love the literary references! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gail | 11/11/2013

    " This book could have been about 2/3 shorter and would have been better if the author kept much of her feelings to herself in a diary. There is no support to be found here if you are looking to learn something about dealing with such a huge loss. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deborah | 10/8/2013

    " A truly tough book to read. Who would have thought such an icon was so real. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roland | 9/2/2013

    " so honest, amazingly honest, to loose the one you have been with for decades, very good "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam Parker | 8/19/2013

    " Beautiful writing, but a difficult read. Brutal at times. A young widow friend of mine said it captures the craziness of the early months of widowhood perfectly. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Panek | 6/19/2013

    " While I appreciated her courage and honesty, I couldn't get past her style of writing. I only made it several chapters and had to give up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pascale Plänk Steig | 6/9/2013

    " A personal account of the terrible loneliness the surviving spouse is doomed to face eventually. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Spellcheck | 10/23/2012

    " Painful, and at times slow... Much as I expect true grief to feel like. I read this book because someone I know was going through a similar experience. The book served as a reminder that life is short, relationships can end at a moments notice, and that everyone grieves differently. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Johnson | 6/3/2011

    " An amazingly beautifully written memoir by Joyce Carol Oates. Incredibly sad but beautiful. The best book I've read in a while. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 5/21/2011

    " so well written - though a very sad subject! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Humkeb | 5/19/2011

    " Interesting how women react to becoming a widow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce | 5/18/2011

    " Joyce Carol Oates is the best -- absolutely the best American writer alive today. This examination of the loss of her husband unexpectedly and the ensuing weeks and months of "learning" how to be a widow is exquisite. It's painful and sad but in the end uplifting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 4/25/2011

    " This intense and moving portrait of grief was heartbreaking and riveting. But it was also very, very difficult to read, given its subject matter. It's worth the immersion, however. This book changed me, and maybe it will change you, too. "

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About the Author
Author Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina Etranger, and The Gravedigger’s Daughter. 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. In 2003 she received the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature and the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, and in 2006 she received the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award.