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

The Lost Landscape: A Writers Coming of Age Audiobook, by Joyce Carol Oates Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Cassandra Campbell Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2015 ISBN: 9780062416582
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Written with the raw honesty and poignant insight that were the hallmarks of her acclaimed bestseller A Widow’s Story, 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)

  • “Cassandra Campbell’s beautifully expressive performance captures the emotional depth of these loosely interlocked essays…Using a conversational, almost storytelling, style, Campbell creates a welcome intimacy between the listener and Oates’s carefully crafted prose. Wiinner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “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

  • “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

  • “Oates writes about her formative years with clear vision.”

    Library Journal

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for Biographies and Memoirs
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times bestseller

Listener Reviews

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  • 3.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 5 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 "

About the Author

Joyce Carol Oates is an award-winning author of fiction, nonfiction, short stories, plays, and novellas. She is the 2019 recipient of the $10,000 Jerusalem Prize, given to “international writers whose body of work assert the freedom of the individual in society.” She is also a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, among other major awards.

About the Narrator

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of several Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.