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Download The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age, by Joyce Carol Oates Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 5 3.50 (2 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Cassandra Campbel Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Written with the raw honesty and poignant insight that were the hallmarks of her acclaimed bestseller A Widow’s Story, The Lost Landscape is an affecting and observant memoir of growing up from one of our finest and most beloved literary masters.

The Lost Landscape is Joyce Carol Oates’ vivid chronicle of her hardscrabble childhood in rural western New York State. From memories of her relatives, to those of a charming bond with a special red hen on her family farm; from her first friendships to her earliest experiences with death, The Lost Landscape is a powerful evocation of the romance of childhood, and its indelible influence on the woman and the writer she would become.

In this exceptionally candid, moving, and richly reflective account, Oates explores the world through the eyes of her younger self, an imaginative girl eager to tell stories about the world and the people she meets. While reading Alice in Wonderland changed a young Joyce forever and inspired her to view life as a series of endless adventures, growing up on a farm taught her harsh lessons about sacrifice, hard work, and loss. With searing detail and an acutely perceptive eye, Oates renders her memories and emotions with exquisite precision, transporting us to a forgotten place and time—the lost landscape of her youth, reminding us of the forgotten landscapes of our own earliest lives.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A tender-hearted excavation of [Oates’] hardscrabble early life…In sharing with us the lost landscape of her childhood, she has ensured it will never be forgotten.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Oates perfectly captures the unique confusion of childhood, brought on by the unsatisfying explanations of adults.”


  • “In her new memoir following in the wake of the bestselling A Widow’s Story, Oates reflects with piquant wit, startling frankness, and mesmerizing specificity on the aspects of her life that made her a writer…Generous in her personal disclosures in this graceful and bracing chronicle, Oates also considers the writer’s calling and the necessity and resonance of sympathy.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The essays…range stylistically, but when Oates falls into her narrative strengths—an alert eye for detail, an atmosphere suffused with dread and apprehension, an enormous sympathy for her characters—the pieces become stunning…Varied, kaleidoscopic, and ultimately insightful.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Cassandra Campbell’s beautifully expressive performance captures the emotional depth of these loosely interlocked essays in which Joyce Carol Oates reflects primarily on her family and childhood and the significant events that influenced her worldview and development as an author. Using a conversational, almost storytelling, style Campbell creates a welcome intimacy between the listener and Oates’s carefully crafted prose… a stark portrait of growing up in rural America in the 1950s.”


  • “Oates writes about her formative years with clear vision. Her use of vignette gives the book the dreamt quality that some readers will associate with her fiction. Readers of Oates’ bestselling memoir, A Widow’s Story, will appreciate this new account, as will fans of her earlier fiction.”

    Library Journal

  • “Glimpses of the iconic writer’s youth…A tender, often moving evocation of the physical and emotional landscapes that have shaped her…Warmly, gently told.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Joyce Carol Oates…is simply the most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious, and creative writer going, as far as I’m concerned.”

    Gillian Flynn, New York Times bestselling author, praise for the author

  • “One of America’s greatest writers.”

    Roanoke Times, praise for the author

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for Biographies and Memoirs
  • An AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Listener Opinions

  • 3.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 5 by Sue Sew | 9/26/2015

    " I loved the narration as I really felt the tone and pitch of the narrator was just right for this memoir spanning from childhood to older age. I knew nothing about Joyce Carol Oates and found her writing to be very emotional at times, such as recalling her childhood and her sister's illness. However the novel is somewhat disjointed with several anecdotes rather than a cohesive autobiographical structure. This made it tricky to follow at times and reduced the story rating for me to 3 stars "

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