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Download Sourland: Stories of Loss, Grief, and Forgetting Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Sourland: Stories of Loss, Grief, and Forgetting 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 (342 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Coleen Marlo Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9780062006998
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Oates is a fearless writer.”

Los Angeles Times


“Oates is a master of the dark tale—stories of the hunted and the hunter, of violence, trauma, and deep psychic wounds.”

Booklist (starred review)


Sourland is a gripping, haunting, and intensely moving collection of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates, one of America’s preeminent authors. Unforgettable tales that re-imagine the meaning of loss—often through violent means—Sourland is yet another extraordinary read from the literary icon who has previously brought us The Gravedigger’s Daughter, Blonde, We Were the Mulvaneys, and numerous other classic works of contemporary fiction.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This collection could be used as a master class in the art of pure, suspenseful storytelling...Oates is a dangerous writer in the best sense of the word, one who takes risks almost obsessively, with energy and relish. For a writer in her early seventies, she continues to be wonderfully, unnervingly anarchic, experimental, angry.”

    New York Times

  • “America simmers in the writings of Joyce Carol Oates, going through the motions of everyday life as best it can, but prone to boiling over at any moment. Oates...has once again held a haunting mirror up to America, revealing who we are.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Admirers of Oates’ literary fiction will find this collection a transcendent read...[Her] characters are masterfully rendered.”

    Associated Press

  • “Coleen Marlo masterfully tackles the works’ challenges, painting vivid portraits of loss, gothic extremes, and violence with the range these diverse tales require. She employs subtle shifts of emphasis while maintaining clear storytelling personas. Individual characters come to life as Oates weaves magical situations with clever analogies, sensual observations, sexual tumult, and her signature depictions of perversions and gory details...Her vocal urgency, tempered often by tragic whimsy, scales the heights of mounting violence, then descends into the depths of sorrow.” 


  • “[Some] of the author’s strongest...stories in years.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 2/4/2014

    " A mostly good collection of stories. A couple of majors themes included older women's sexuality, widowhood, and power dynamics in relationships. She contends multiple times that one person in relationships always loves more than the other. Made for some interesting conversation outside of my reading time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanya Patrice | 1/25/2014

    " Overall most of the short stories left me feeling like they were incomplete or that I didn't understand the ending. The characters though were memorable and very well developed. "Amputee" was the story I "liked" the most - I say "liked" but really none of these are happy tales. They are all really dark & twisted. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kathy Schroder | 1/24/2014

    " OK good but... WAY FREAKING WEIRD!! A bunch of her short stories and most involved something sexually twisted. YIKES!! I loved We Were the Mulvaney's but this... not my favorite. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angie | 1/8/2014

    " I quickly tired of the naive-woman-is-victimized-by-a-male-pig theme that ran through this story collection. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Macpherson | 12/25/2013

    " Dark. Very, very dark. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cissy | 12/15/2013

    " I heard JCO read the first story in this book, and she signed my copy. Love her, she is amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Venessa | 11/28/2013

    " Typical JCO: violent, almost shocking (I watch too much horror for it to really shock me!), abused, often helplessly (but not always) portrayed women as targets of disturbed men, sometimes other women. Many of the stories in this collection featured a woman who recently lost her husband (as JCO herself recently has lost her first husband) and, interesting, each woman feels helpless yet also experiences the loss in different ways, mainly anger and abandonment, one curious case of "I'll get back at you" in the title story, whereupon the tables turn. I tend to like her short stories better than her (often) long-winded novels, and this collection is good (though not quite as good -- in my opinion -- as Faithless which was my favorite). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Camille | 11/14/2013

    " So far two of the short stories centered around disturbing rape scenes, and a third was about a girl whose ex-model mother verbally abuses her while dragging her around new york looking for a restaurant that she doesn't hate. I might continue reading, because I find the stories captivating, but I am not going to hope for any uplifting ones. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin Nissley | 10/25/2013

    " It is very clear that Oates was working out some grief about the loss of her husband. Almost all the short stories in the collection feature someone (usually a woman) who has lost a husband or a father, or is waiting for the looming loss. Many of the stories are weird, unsettling and in a way, somewhat unsatisfying. But on the whole, a very interesting collection from someone who remains one of the most relevant living author around. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nikki Vacant | 10/9/2013

    " I expected so much more from Joyce Carol Oates! These stories were repetitive and rarely made sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonya | 10/2/2013

    " The collection's first story, Pumpkin Head, sets the tone for the rest of the book. It was grotesque and engrossing. A writer could learn a lot about how to set up a situation and provide enough details to pull a nervous reader through a very dark, realistic world. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Janet | 9/17/2013

    " The stories were weird and twisted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa Braden | 7/31/2013

    " It is obvious that she is suffering from the sudden death of her husband, and is having trouble adjusting to her ner life, as it is a recurring theme in these stories. Very touching, sad, and troubling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole | 7/22/2013

    " Rape, rape, and more rape. Ugh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gayla Bassham | 4/7/2013

    " Disappointing--felt very repetitious of earlier themes. Maybe more interest from a biographical point of view than a literary one, as several stories show the influence of her husband's death--but then I think I'd just as soon read the memoir. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandi | 11/8/2012

    " Some of the short stories were haunting and wonderful to read. Others were not. I think many of these stories are concerned with Oates' grief when she lost her husband. Too much for me in a short time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Halverson | 5/30/2012

    " I love all her stuff! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 4/15/2012

    " If her vision gets any clearer she's gonna burst into flames. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 10/13/2011

    " Sixteen stories in Oates' usual style, dark, absorbing, not for the feint of heart. Most deal with loss, some kind of violence, women's struggles. I loved them, but not what you would read just any sunny afternoon. Lots of food for thought here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 6/4/2011

    " As always, a good collection of JCO's short stories--provocative and unique. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Suesaroo | 11/1/2010

    " I really love JCO's writing but, in this collection the redundant theme of vulnerability was exhausting. "

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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, among other major awards. 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 Narrator

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.