The Sacrifice

Joyce Carol Oates

When a fourteen-year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanises her community, exacerbating the racial tension that has been simmering in this New Jersey town for decades.

Unfolding in a chorus of multiracial voices – from the police to the media to the victim and her family – which gather to reach a tense crescendo at the novel’s climax, THE SACRIFICE offers a shocking new understanding of power and oppression, innocence and guilt, truth and sensationalism, justice and retribution – and the primal decisions we make to protect those we love.

A chilling exploration of complex social, political, and moral themes, THE SACRIFICE is a major work of fiction from one of our most revered literary masters.

Reviews of The Sacrifice

  • ‘[Joyce Carol Oates] is simply the most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious and creative writer going, as far as I’m concerned’ Gillian Flynn, author of “Gone Girl”

    ‘A powerful novel … We see how, in the hands of a great writer, a gripping story can be torn from the poisonous rubble’ Rose Tremain, Guardian

    ‘Visceral and hypnotising … simmers with barely concealed rage at the impotence inflicted on people by race and gender inequalities’ Lesley McDowell, Independent

    ‘Oates demonstrates a fearlessness in her writing. The book has the energy and force of a river in full flow, filled with dangerous undercurrents and eddies’ Victoria Moore, Daily Mail

    ‘A savage satire on race relations and the culture of sensationalism … The Sacrifice ranks among Joyce Carol Oates’ best novels’ Robert Rorke, New York Post

    ‘With great energy and a cold eye for contemporary American race relations … offers a mix of fiery drama and the cold bone truths of race as we all live it today’ Alan Cheuse, NPR Books

    ‘Oates’ firecracker of a novel explores the minefield of race relations in thought-provoking style’ Max Davidson, Irish Mail on Sunday

    ‘Beyond daring, highly provocative . . . a blend of sizzling drama and the brutal truths of racism. Oates writes with the ease of a master of language, uncoiling the bitterest of stories with barely a word wasted’ Lorraine Courtney, Belfast Telegraph

    ‘Explosive’ Jon Michaud, Washington Post

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