Disappointingly heavy-handed and caricatured. This is surprising from such a socially aware author...hope it's not typical.
This is so wonderful on audio. The readers are smashing at the dialect. Haunting and harrowing.
A "this is how it could have happened" fictionalization of the Tawana Brawley case. The story is told from several different points of view, the most compelling and disturbing being those of "Sybilla Frye"'s mother and stepfather, both products of urban poverty and violence and both deeply scarred as a result. As a white writer who often depicts African-American characters, JCO should know better than to describe their hair as stiff, oily, coarse, smelly, matted, etc. but she does that throughout the book. A small matter, but as an A-A woman, I find them a very jarring and racist set of terms that just keep popping up.
Joyce Carol Oates's new novel, The Sacrifice, is based largely on the 1987 Tawana Brawley alleged rape case and the author's 1969 novel, them, based on the 1967 race riots. The novel takes place in the fictional Red Rock neighborhood of inner-city Pascayne, New Jersey, in October of 1987. It centers around a black family: Sybilla Frye, 15, allegedly gang raped and beaten by white police officers; her mother, Ednetta Frye; and her stepfather Anis Schutt. At the center of the story are the manipulative Mudrick twins, Rev. Marus Mudrick and his attorney brother Byron; and Leopaldo Quarrquan, the Black Prince. I would recommend this novel not because the narrative is easy, but because it's difficult. The harsh points of view and the disjointed, unsettling writing style serve as societal mirrors worthy of present day contemplation. The Sacrifice adds to the timely and important discussion on race, community and choices. Oates never fails to push her readers beyond their comfort zones.
Oates' writing is always griping. Her constant exploration of the shadow side of humanness can be heavy on the reader's spirit... but one 'just can put it down' anyway. Is that a good thing or not?
mds9 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over
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