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Download The Sacrifice: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Sacrifice: A Novel, by Joyce Carol Oates Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Carol Oates Narrator: Adam Lazzarre-White, Bahni Turpin, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Karole Foreman, Adam Lazarre-White Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2015 ISBN: 9780062372390
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New York Times bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates returns with an incendiary novel that illuminates the tragic impact of sexual violence, racism, brutality, and power on innocent lives and probes the persistence of stereotypes, the nature of revenge, the complexities of truth, and our insatiable hunger for sensationalism.

When a fourteen-year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanizes her community, exacerbating the racial tension that has been simmering in this New Jersey town for decades. In this magisterial work of fiction, Joyce Carol Oates explores the uneasy fault lines in a racially troubled society. In such a tense, charged atmosphere, Oates reveals that there must always be a sacrifice—of innocence, truth, trust, and, ultimately, of lives. Unfolding in a succession of multiracial voices, in a community transfixed by this alleged crime and the spectacle unfolding around it, this profound novel exposes what—and who—the “sacrifice” actually is, and what consequences these kind of events hold for us all.

Working at the height of her powers, Oates offers a sympathetic portrait of the young girl and her mother, and challenges our expectations and beliefs about our society, our biases, and ourselves. As the chorus of its voices—from the police to the media to the victim and her family—reaches a crescendo, The Sacrifice offers a shocking new understanding of power and oppression, innocence and guilt, truth and sensationalism, justice and retribution.

A chilling exploration of complex social, political, and moral themes—the enduring trauma of the past, modern racial and class tensions, the power of secrets, and the primal decisions we all make to protect those we love—The Sacrifice is a major work of fiction from one of our most revered literary masters.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Sacrifice is laced with striking psychological subtleties, painful ironies, and flashes of tenderness and wit. A sure-fire catalyst for meaningful discussion.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A fictional account of the infamous Tawana Brawley case…[Oates] uses fiction as an opportunity to interrogate the circumstances that made Brawley’s story a sensation and gave it meaning.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “[A] tale of race, community, and pride… complex and multifaceted.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “In this provocative novel, Oates barges her way into territory where not many white writers have dared to tread—and produced a raw and earnest mix of fiery drama and the bone-cold truths of race as we live it today.”


  • “If there could be a better production of this audiobook, I don’t see how…All four performances are outstanding, especially the wit and sympathy the amazing Bahni Turpin shows her often unreliable characters. The laconic menace Adam Lazarre-White gives Sybilla’s violent stepfather is also stunningly effective. Given that once the name Tawana Brawley occurs to you, the bones of this story are predictable, Oates could have advanced her morally complex agenda more crisply. But these actors do a great deal to make the pace compelling and the coming train wreck riveting. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
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