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Extended Audio Sample Wench: A Novel, 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:
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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.”


  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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