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Extended Audio Sample Black Dahlia & White Rose: Stories 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 (262 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Paul Michael Garcia, Coleen Marlo, Tavia Gilbert Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9780062246158
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A wildly inventive new collection ofstories by Joyce Carol Oates that chartsthe surprising ways in which the worldwe think we know can unexpectedlyreveal its darker contours

The New York Times has hailed Joyce Carol Oates as "adangerous writer in the best sense of the word, one whotakes risks almost obsessively with energy and relish."Black Dahlia & White Rose, a collection of eleven previouslyuncollected stories, showcases the keen rewards ofOates's relentless brio and invention. In one beautifullyhoned story after another, Oates explores the menace thatlurks at the edges of and intrudes upon even the seeminglysafest of lives—and maps with rare emotional acuity thetransformational cost of such intrusions.

Unafraid to venture into no-man's-lands both real andsurreal, Oates takes readers deep into dangerous territory,from a maximum-security prison—vividly delineatingthe heartbreaking and unexpected atmosphere of such aninstitution—to the inner landscapes of two beautiful andmysteriously doomed young women in 1940s Los Angeles:Elizabeth Short, otherwise known as the Black Dahlia,victim of a long-unsolved and particularly brutal murder,and her roommate Norma Jeane Baker, soon to becomeMarilyn Monroe. Whether exploring the psychologicalcompulsion of the wife of a well-to-do businessman whois ravished by, and elopes with, a lover who is not what heseems or the uneasily duplicitous relationships betweenyoung women and their parents, Black Dahlia & White Roseexplores the compelling intertwining of dread and desire,the psychic pull and trauma of domestic life, and resonatesat every turn with Oates's mordant humor and hertrenchant observation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Unsettling, potent, and suspenseful, these well-crafted and haunting stories attest to Oates’ superior imagination and mastery of the craft, and provide a welcome addition to her oeuvre.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “All three engagingly portray the psychological, and sometimes physical, hardships depicted in these domestic dramas of contemporary America. Oates’ stories are not cheery, nor are they completely dark. They dwell in a twilight of unresolvable real life. The narrators convey this mood with somber readings that reflect the book’s intriguing depictions of the not-so-pretty lives we lead.”

    AudioFile

  • “[A] masterfully honed collection of dark tales…With precision and force, the ever-mesmerizing Oates rips open the scrim of ordinariness to expose the chaos that undermines every human notion of control, reason, and sanctuary.” 

    Booklist 

  • “This latest collection…showcases [Oates’] talent for imbuing mundane events with menace and the kind of irony that springs from narrow brushes with disaster…Oates’ hypnotic prose ensures that readers will be unable to look away.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 2012 Bram Stoker Award Nominee

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Danielle | 2/20/2014

    " Gave up half way through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 2/20/2014

    " She is the master. I cannot say any more that hasn't already been said, and why she hasn't won the Nobel yet is beyond me. Simply awe-inspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 2/5/2014

    " J.C. Oates is always dark, but always worth reading. Once again, she writes beautifully about Marilyn Monroe's life and imagined thoughts (the White Rose part). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 2/1/2014

    " Easy read of short stories. The books namesake story is the best of the bunch. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky Loader | 1/31/2014

    " Wow. Oates has not lost her touch. The title story is her take on the famous Black Dahlia murder, which has never been solved. She inserts Norma Jean Baker (the White Rose) as the roommate of the Black Dahlia, and suggests that a passive voyeur gains access to both of the women through a photographer. Gripping story! The other standout is "Hyenas: a Romance." Yes, those hyenas. A woman has a vivid vision of a lycanthropic sort that spurs her to look up a friend from her past. The line between animal and man/woman has never been so artfully displayed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 1/30/2014

    " I really enjoy the way Joyce Carol Oates writes with such abandon and creativity, exploring the human psyche without a care for social etiquette while never seeming to strive for intentional shock value. But the short story format rarely leaves me satisfied. Fascinating at times, but give me at least a novelette. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 patty | 1/22/2014

    " Especially loved the cover story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peg | 1/22/2014

    " Good, collection of short stories previously published in various magazines. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gerry | 1/15/2014

    " some of the stories were good but some not so great "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Mason | 1/6/2014

    " Amazing stories, absolutely riveting and thought provoking...filled with the dark side and mystery of life. Could not put this book down and fortunately it was easy to read in one sitting! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 12/31/2013

    " Ms. Oates short story telling skills are incredible. Very deep and make you really think about where she leaves each story off. The reader then takes it to the next level with their thoughts on how it it ends. Many unique subjects that are given as fiction, suspense and other writing styles. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Monica | 12/28/2013

    " I had never read any Joyce Carol Oates (I know, the horror!), but this compilation of short stories was not impressive. Everything after Alice Munro's recent short story compilation is subpar. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suicide Blonde | 12/15/2013

    " JCO is a really dark place in her life right now, and that focus on sadness, loss, death is reflected in her work. The them for these stories was the cruelty of loneliness, the failed attempts at making a connection with the people around you. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katharine Holden | 12/4/2013

    " Self-indulgent writing. Shallow. Choppy. Cranked out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue Lipton | 12/3/2013

    " If one reads enough JCO books, their tone begins to sound similar.....but NEVER boring! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deedee | 10/14/2013

    " Some were better than others. I know these were "short" stories, but many of them seem to end as if the last page of the story was missing. Overall it was good (3 stars) and I'm glad I read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcus | 9/15/2013

    " A collection of odd short stories. They are quick reads; some of them have rather unusual outcomes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 9/2/2013

    " This book was okay. She often writes stories that leave me saying WTF? They just end out of nowhere. The first story which is the namesake of the book was wonderful. If she had just followed that into a novel it would have been five stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 7/30/2013

    " Some good stories. Some good odd stories. Some merely odd stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley | 6/24/2013

    " The stories here were hit-or-miss, but it was ultimately an enjoyable collection. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristine | 6/20/2013

    " As much as I like Joyce Carol Oates writing style...this collection of short stories fell short of my expectations. They were well written and left a lot to ponder, but were just too dark for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jan | 5/13/2013

    " I gave up on this book after story 5. I don't like stories without endings, so JCO is not an author I will read again. I really wasn't too thrilled with story progressions. Just not my style whatsoever. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Juliegsorensen | 3/24/2013

    " Just not a short stories fan. Some were better than others, but not exactly memorable to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deby | 2/26/2013

    " The stories in part 3 didn't thrill me, but the rest were captivating snippets of a melange of emotional stastes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blair | 9/29/2012

    " A nice collection, although nothing grabbed me or stuck with me. If you like Joyce Carol Oates, or need a short story collection, give it a whirl, but don't rush out to find it. "

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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.

About the Narrators

Paul Michael Garcia, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and former company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, received his classical training in theater from Southern Oregon University, where he worked as an actor, director, and designer.

Coleen Marlo is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator who has been nominated for an Audie Award twice, winning in 2011. She has been awarded three Listen-Up Awards from Publishers Weekly, an AudioFile Audiobook of the Year Award in 2011, and was named Audiobook Narrator of the Year for 2010 by Publishers Weekly. She is a member of the prestigious Actors Studio and taught acting for ten years at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. Marlo is a proud founding member of Deyan Institute of Voice Artistry and Technology.

Tavia Gilbert, an acclaimed narrator of more than four hundred full-cast and multivoice audiobooks for virtually every publisher in the industry, is an eight-time nominee for the Audie Award and the recipient of seventeen Earphones Awards, a Voice Arts Award, and a Listen-Up Award. With frequent inclusion on best of year and annual top ten lists, she is a trusted and increasingly sought-after actress for work across every genre, from children’s and YA, to literary fiction, nonfiction, and genre fiction. Audible has named her a Genre-Defining Narrator: Master of Memoir, and Library Journal said of her, “as close as you can get to a full-cast narration with a solo voice.” She is a producer, singer, photographer, and a writer, as well as the cofounder of a feminist publishing company, Animal Mineral, with fiction and nonfiction focusing on relationships, love, and identity.