The Gravedigger's Daughter.
When the Schwart family escapes Nazi Germany and settles in a small town in upstate New York Upstate New York is the region of New York State north of the core of the New York metropolitan area. It has a population of 7,121,911 out of New York State's total 18,976,457. Were it an independent state, it would be ranked 13th by population. , Jacob, the educated father, finds work as a lowly gravedigger. Demeaned and shattered by their past, he and his wife deny their Jewish heritage as their lives slowly deteriorate. When Jacob inflicts unspeakable violence on his family, his traumatized daughter, Rebecca, now alone in the world, decides to reinvent herself. After a marriage to an abusive beer salesman, she escapes with her piano-prodigy son and becomes Hazel Jones, a woman of strength, character, and social status who must hide her tortured past in order to live fully.
Ecco. 582 pages. $26.95. ISBN ISBN
International Standard Book Number
ISBN International Standard Book Number
ISBN n abbr (= International Standard Book Number) → ISBN m : 0061236829
Chicago Tribune Chicago Tribune
Daily newspaper published in Chicago. The Tribune is one of the leading U.S. newspapers and long has been the dominant voice of the Midwest. Founded in 1847, it was bought in 1855 by six partners, including Joseph Medill (1823–99), who made the paper CLASSIC
"Oates has marveled at the resilient spirit of her grandmother, who triumphed over the terrible violence of her early life to become a loving and nurturing mother and grandmother, and so, too, does Rebecca endure and prevail against the daunting daunt
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.
[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin hardships of her life and develop into a person of strength and character. ... The Gravedigger's Daughter is unquestionably un·ques·tion·a·ble
Beyond question or doubt. See Synonyms at authentic.
un·question·a·bil one of Oates' finest novels, rendered in taut, vivid language, with an emotional power some of her novels lack." JOANNE V. CREIGHTON Joanne V. Creighton, Ph.D. is currently serving as the 17th President of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She is also the current chair of the Women's College Coalition. Background
Creighton was born in Marinette, Wisconsin.
"Some have called this book an urban myth. I see it as a highly personal epic tale, sprawling yet intimate. ... It's obviously a book very close to her heart." HOLLY JOHNSON Holly Johnson is an artist, writer and musician (born William Johnson on February 9, 1960 in Liverpool, England; name on passport William Holly Johnson). Some sources erroneously suggest he was born in Khartoum, a myth Johnson himself apparently started during an
Washington Post EXCELLENT
"The reader's intimation that this huge-handed, league-striding, voracious monster is somehow speaking, whispering, howling through her is what gives to her writing the illusion that it's all real, that anything messy, maladroit mal·a·droit
Marked by a lack of adroitness; inept.
An inept person.
[French : mal-, mal- + adroit, adroit; see adroit. or unsatisfactory in her books is not a fault in her shaping, but a reflection of the faulty world. ... This is neither a depressing story nor an uplifting one." BRIAN HALL
Rocky Mountain News The Rocky Mountain News is a daily morning tabloid-format newspaper published in Denver, Colorado. It is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company. (Despite Scripps still running the paper, it's the only newspaper in the Scripps family not to have the corporate lighthouse logo on EXCELLENT
"The writing in the section in which Oates chronicles their courtship and difficult relationship is electric; Oates burrows into Rebecca's consciousness and renders her experiences with sustained intensity. ... Oates' portrait of a woman leading a double life is masterful." JENY SHANK shank (shangk)
1. leg (1).
2. crus ( 2).
The part of the human leg between the knee and ankle.
Seattle Times EXCELLENT
"As Oates' epilogue comes to its tantalizing tan·ta·lize
tr.v. tan·ta·lized, tan·ta·liz·ing, tan·ta·liz·es
To excite (another) by exposing something desirable while keeping it out of reach. and inconclusive end, I found myself looking back over the novel with mixed impressions. This book is easy to admire, and difficult to love; my reaction was not 'I really loved this book.' But it was instead, 'Wow: What a writer.'" MELINDA BARGREEN
NY Times Book Review GOOD
"Oates achieves success as a storyteller when she overcomes her tendency to surrender to extremes. ... The novel's epilogue, an exchange of letters between Rebecca and a previously unknown cousin, a college professor who has written a book about surviving Theresienstadt ... is virtually Dostoyevskian." LEE SIEGEL
USA Today GOOD
"What is strong is Oates' compassionate, disturbing portrayal of life in the troubled war years, when immigrants were seen as the enemy by some of their reluctant new countrymen, and of the decades that followed, when assimilation came at a soul-shattering cost." SUSAN KELLY
Joyce Carol Oates's 36th novel proves that more is, sometimes, more. The Seattle Times calls it an "opus," while The Oregonian describes it as her "masterpiece." In a return to upstate New York, the novel, based in part on the life of Oates's paternal grandmother, carries exceptional emotional heft. While striking Oates's trademark dark, suspenseful notes at the start, it turns to themes of reinvention and hope as Rebecca journeys through life. The epilogue, when an elderly Rebecca pens letters to a cousin who survived the Holocaust, resounds deeply. A few reviewers cited poor writing, confusing narrative switches, and flat secondary characters, but overall, Gravedigger's Daughter may be one of Oates's best novels in years.