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

Extended Audio Sample Sourland: Stories of Loss, Grief, and Forgetting, 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:
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A gripping and moving new collection of stories that reimagines the meaning of loss—through often unexpected and violent means.

Joyce Carol Oates is not only one of our most important novelists and literary critics, she is also an unparalleled master of the short story. Sourland—sixteen previously uncollected stories that explore how the power of violence, loss, and grief shape both the psyche and the soul—shows us an author work-ing at the height of her powers.

With lapidary precision and an unflinching eye, Oates maps the surprising contours of “ordinary” life. From a desperate man who dons a jack-o’-lantern head as a prelude to a most curious sort of courtship, to a “story of a stabbing” many times recounted in the life of a lonely girl; from a beguiling young woman librarian whose amputee state attracts a married man and father, to a girl hopelessly in love with her renegade, incarcerated cousin; from a professor’s wife who finds herself tragically isolated at a party in her own house, to the concluding title story of an unexpectedly redemptive love rooted in radical aloneness and isolation, each story in Sourland resonates beautifully with Oates’s trademark fascination for the unpredictable amid the prosaic—the comming-ling of sexual love and violence, the tumult of family life—and shines with her predilection for dark humor and her gift for voice.

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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by Angie | 1/8/2014

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

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