Joyce Carol Oates’ latest novel, A Book of American Martyrs, has already received a starred review Library Journal and another from Booklist calling it "robust, relentless, inquisitive, and astutely balanced." This whopper of a review just came in from Ron Charles of the Washington Post, and we couldn't resist sharing. Check it out!
“Joyce Carol Oates’s new novel, 'A Book of American Martyrs,' arrives splattered with our country’s hot blood. As the Republican Congress plots to cripple Planned Parenthood and the right to choose hinges on one vacant Supreme Court seat, 'American Martyrs' probes all the wounds of our abortion debate. Indeed, it’s the most relevant book of Oates’s half-century-long career, a powerful reminder that fiction can be as timely as this morning’s tweets but infinitely more illuminating. For as often as we hear that some novel about a wealthy New Yorker suffering ennui is a story about 'how we live now,' here is a novel that actually fulfills that promise, a story whose grasp is so wide and whose empathy is so boundless that it provides an ultrasound of the contemporary American soul.... They are American families so separated by opportunity and ideology that they could be living in different countries, but Oates’s sympathetic attention to the dimensions of their lives renders both with the clarity we first saw in her classic 1969 novel, “them.”... For 'American Martyrs,' Oates has mastered an extraordinary form commensurate to her story’s breadth. The book is written in a structure fluid enough to move back and forth in time, to shift from first to third person without warning, sometimes breaking into italics as though this febrile text couldn’t contain the fervency of these words.... Although Oates’s Twitter feed leaves little doubt about her personal views, as an artist, she’s far too good to allow her book to descend into such polemics, and gradually the story moves away from that endlessly cycling debate between evangelicals and civil libertarians.... To enter this masterpiece is to be captivated by the paradox of that tragic courage and to become invested in Oates’s search for some semblance of atonement, secular or divine. Regardless of your own faith or politics, the real miracle here is how, even after 700 pages, we can still be racing along, steeling ourselves for the very last line, a line we’re desperate to reach — but not too soon.”
You can read the full review here. This is definitely one to check out, people. A Book of American Martyrs goes on sale February 7, so there's still a little time left to request the egalley and dive in before it hits shelves! You won't want to miss out.