The Gravedigger's Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates
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Synopsis

Fleeing Nazi Germany in 1936, the Schwarts immigrate to a small town in upstate New York. Here the father—a former high school teacher—is demeaned by the only job he can get: gravedigger and cemetery caretaker. When local prejudice and the family's own emotional frailty give rise to an unthinkable tragedy, the gravedigger's daughter, Rebecca heads out into America. Embarking upon an extraordinary odyssey of erotic risk and ingenious self-invention, she seeks renewal, redemption, and peace—on the road to a bittersweet and distinctly “American” triumph.

 

About Joyce Carol Oates

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Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Medal of Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the New York Times bestseller The Falls, which won the 2005 Prix Femina. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 624 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Gravedigger's Daughter

Kirkus Reviews

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The lingering residue of survivor's guilt and trauma shape a battered woman's life on the run in Oates's latest novel (Black Girl/White Girl, 2006, etc.), which is stuffed with echoes of her earlier fiction.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Gravedigger's Daughter (P...

The New York Times

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Though clearly meant to have an epic sweep, “The Gravedigger’s Daughter” feels like a four-hour film that should have been cut by 90 minutes.

Jun 07 2007 | Read Full Review of The Gravedigger's Daughter (P...

The New York Times

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In Joyce Carol Oates’s new novel, a woman whose family fled Hitler in turn flees the dangerous men in her life.

Jun 17 2007 | Read Full Review of The Gravedigger's Daughter (P...

Publishers Weekly

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At the beginning of Oates's 36th novel, Rebecca Schwart is mistaken by a seemingly harmless man for another woman, Hazel Jones, on a footpath in 1959 Chatauqua Falls, N.Y. Five hundred pages la

Mar 05 2007 | Read Full Review of The Gravedigger's Daughter (P...

Book Reporter

The novel begins with a misunderstanding --- Rebecca Tignor, a.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gravedigger's Daughter (P...

Entertainment Weekly

In The Gravedigger's Daughter, she gives us another steely survivor, Rebecca Schwart, the eponymous gravedigger's daughter, whose parents fled Nazi Germany only to meet a grisly, self-inflicted fate in upstate New York.

May 25 2007 | Read Full Review of The Gravedigger's Daughter (P...

Bookmarks Magazine

In a return to upstate New York, the novel, based in part on the life of Oates’s paternal grandmother, carries exceptional emotional heft.

Aug 07 2007 | Read Full Review of The Gravedigger's Daughter (P...

Tucson Citizen

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

Aug 30 2007 | Read Full Review of The Gravedigger's Daughter (P...

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