A Book of American Martyrs

Joyce Carol Oates

Gus Voorhees is a controversial abortion provider in the American Midwest. One morning as he arrives at his clinic, he is ambushed by a hardline Christian, Luther Dunphy, and shot dead.

The killing leaves in its wake two fatherless families: the Voorheeses, who are affluent, highly educated, secular and pro-choice, and the Dunphys, their opposite on all counts.

When the daughters of the two families, Naomi Voorhees and Dawn Dunphy, glimpse each other at the trial of Luther Dunphy, their initial response is mutual hatred. But their lives are tangled together forever by what has happened . . .

Reviews of A Book of American Martyrs

  • ‘The story of Trump’s America’ Daily Mail

    ‘Page-turning, gripping, full of unexpected twists’ Observer

    ‘A magnificent story of two broken families, both steeped in grief’ Independent

    ‘Icily subtle … at its spine-tingling best when staring into the dark, a sliver away from the Gothic’ Spectator

    ‘Dramatic, dazzling, ingenious, agile … her uniquely sane, empathetic voice seems particularly vital and timely during Trump’s presidency’ Literary Review

    ‘The most relevant book of Oates’s half-century-long career . . . a masterpiece’ Washington Post

    ‘Oates’s American saga captivates because it exists within an actual drama playing out across the country. A graceful and excruciating story of two families who do not live very far apart, but exist in different realities’ USA Today

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