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Extended Audio Sample Wench: A Novel Audiobook, by Dolen Perkins-Valdez Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (8,062 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dolen Perkins-Valdez Narrator: Quincy Tyler Bernstine Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 ISBN: 9780062009425
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Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez is startling and original fiction that raises provocative questions of power and freedom, love and dependence. An enchanting and unforgettable novel based on little-known fact, Wench combines the narrative allure of Cane River by Lalita Tademy and the moral complexities of Edward P. Jones’s The Known World as it tells the story of four black enslaved women in the years preceding the Civil War. A stunning debut novel, Wench marks author Perkins-Valdez—previously a finalist for the 2009 Robert Olen Butler Short Fiction Prize—as a writer destined for greatness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Readers entranced by The Help will be equally riveted by Wench. A deeply moving, beautifully written novel told from the heart.”

    USA Today

  • “A heartbreaker, full of understated tragedy and lyrical prose…Perkins-Valdez has woven a devastatingly beautiful account of a cruel past.”

    People

  • “Absolutely phenomenal…Wench is an excellent novel that will appeal to many readers. Debut author Dolen Perkins-Valdez has crafted a historical narrative that shouldn’t be missed.”

    Sacramento Book Review

  • “Eloquently plunges into a dark period of American history…Heart-wrenching, intriguing, original, and suspenseful, this novel showcases Perkins-Valdez’ ability to bring the unfortunate past to life.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A striking debut…Perkins-Valdez builds a convincing, nuanced portrait…Compelling and unsentimental.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Perkins-Valdez’ power to imagine herself into the hearts and minds of slave mistresses and their masters is astonishing. A shattering story told with dignity, compassion, and some wicked humor. A brave, honest, beautifully written book that will shock and move readers to much new awareness.”

    Sigrid Nunez, author of The Last of Her Kind and A Feather on the Breath of God

  • “Through unforgettable characters and luscious prose, Wench stares down the difficult truths while never losing its beautiful beating heart. With all the weight of a historical excavation and the urgency of a page-turner, Perkins-Valdez establishes herself as a powerful new voice in fiction.”

    Tayari Jones, author of Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling

  • “This elegantly structured novel sheds much-needed light on the racial intricacies of America’s past.”

    Margaret Cezair-Thompson, author of The Pirate’s Daughter

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon Sorken | 2/20/2014

    " This was a good story and written well. The ending just fizzled out! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sylvie Fox | 2/8/2014

    " This book had such a good premise. I went into it with a lot of promise and hope - only to be vastly disappointed. The characters are far too shallow, the plots and characters left unexplored, and an ending far too mystical for the tone of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Estelle Momrow | 2/5/2014

    " It made me sad about that historical time but it was well worth the read "

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

    " Good look at the life of Eliza, a "pampered" female slave in Antebellum Tennessee. She and several other slaves are exposed to "free" Ohio with a variety of consequences. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy Wolfenden | 2/1/2014

    " An easy read, but it was gripping. Was eager to get back to it. I liked it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natascha Hood | 1/28/2014

    " A good beach book. Entertaining and easy to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corrine | 1/22/2014

    " I devoured this one in less than a weekend. The main characters are Southern slave women at a summer resort in Ohio, set in the Civil War era. It's a poignant if somewhat emotionally challenging read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sha-shonda Porter | 1/14/2014

    " Great book! The characterization in this book was insightful, and caused you to really think about motivations as well as actions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roslyn Valentino | 12/25/2013

    " Really enjoyed the book. Definately recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Xa | 12/16/2013

    " Non-capitalization of proper nouns really bugs me. "

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

    " forgotten history once again. how the slaveowner and slave does not have a consensual relationship. he even took her on vacations with his wife. just for his pleasure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lenlyn01 | 11/24/2013

    " This book was challenging at first for me to follow along but I kept at it. It was a pretty good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 11/18/2013

    " Heartwrenching, thoughtful story. Very well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jae | 10/12/2013

    " 1Well... I didn't hate it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 7/12/2013

    " A little uneven at a few points, but I really got into the characters and the plot. Nice to read the work of a local girl. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee Glover | 2/3/2013

    " Insight into a practice that I wasn't aware of - interesting and heart-breaking at the same time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim Lunsford | 12/20/2012

    " intense and disturbing, one woman's journey as a slave-mistress. i liked the author's use of flashback to focus on one of four main characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 AD | 9/25/2012

    " Book about slave mistresses of slave owners. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alicia M. | 2/16/2012

    " I could not put this book down! It was a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harriet | 9/25/2011

    " A very interesting book. It is written from the perspective of a slave from Tennessee who comes with her master each year to a resort near Xenia, OH. If you liked The Help, you would like this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fiona Zedde | 7/26/2011

    " A heartbreaking and beautiful story. All throughout the book, I wanted to slap Lizzie but also had to keep in mind how she was raised, what she didn't have, and could never have. With that and more, the novel absolutely pulls you in and keeps you interested. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candice | 5/31/2011

    " Great novel about the relationships between slave owners and their slave mistresses. The author goes into the complex relationships formed between the master and the mistress (as well as the wife and the mistress). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margari | 5/29/2011

    " It started off slow for me, but I found that I cant put it down unless I'm absolutely exhausted. There is some disturbing material that highlights the brutality of slavery and the exploitation of slave women. Their plights are so sad, but slowly I'm feeling Lizzie's development. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kay | 5/27/2011

    " A good read and added understanding of black slaves in 1850's especially those women favored by their white masters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aimee | 5/20/2011

    " This was an awesome book! Very Very sad, but also shows the power of the human spirit. I highly recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 5/19/2011

    " June book club.

    This is one where if I could give it 3.5 stars, I would.

    Quick read. Interesting story. While a work of fiction, the author's notes indicate the Tawana House did exist and after it closed, did become a school.


    "

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About the Author
Author Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Wench. In 2011 she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was also awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She lives in Washington, D.C. @Dolen / dolenperkinsvaldez.com