The Gravedigger's Daughter

Front Cover
Harper Collins, May 29, 2007 - Fiction - 582 pages
40 Reviews

In 1936 the Schwarts, an immigrant family desperate to escape Nazi Germany, settle in a small town in upstate New York, where the father, a former high school teacher, is demeaned by the only job he can get: gravedigger and cemetery caretaker. After local prejudice and the family's own emotional frailty result in unspeakable tragedy, the gravedigger's daughter, Rebecca, begins her astonishing pilgrimage into America, an odyssey of erotic risk and imaginative daring, ingenious self-invention, and, in the end, a bittersweet—but very "American"—triumph. "You are born here, they will not hurt you"—so the gravedigger has predicted for his daughter, which will turn out to be true.

In The Gravedigger's Daughter, Oates has created a masterpiece of domestic yet mythic realism, at once emotionally engaging and intellectually provocative: an intimately observed testimony to the resilience of the individual to set beside such predecessors as The Falls, Blonde, and We Were the Mulvaneys.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - elmoelle - LibraryThing

I am an ardent fan of Joyce Carol Oates, her novel Blonde is among my favorites, so I have to warn that my opinion of this book must be considered with that fandom in mind. The first thing in this ... Read full review

Review: The Gravedigger's Daughter

User Review  - Bronwyn Hope - Goodreads

This book read like a first draft and was full of many of the things aspiring writers are told not to do - conflicts in voice that made it an absolute chore in the first half of the book; repetition ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Joyce Carol Oats is the Roger S. Berlind Distinquished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University.

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