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  • Paperback $15.00

    Apr 13, 2004 | 208 Pages

  • Ebook $9.99

    Dec 18, 2007 | 208 Pages

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Praise

“This fresh, unsentimental look at what slave-owning does to (and for) one’s interior life must be a first. The writing—so prised and clean limbed—is a marvel.” —Toni Morrison

 

“Chilling…disturbing…intriguing. A compelling contest of wills between two women…against a chaotic backdrop of black night and leaping torchlight.” —The New York Times

 

“Sharply observer…. A strikingly unsentimental voice…. In fewer than 200 pages, Martin is able to summon up historical landscapes her readers have never seen.” —Newsday

 

“Quietly devastating…. Shows a dimension of American slavery that nonfiction could not get across…. A work of sustained irony…. As chilly and arresting a picture of slavery as you’ll find anywhere.” —The Boston Globe

 

“It is possible that we have never heard a voice like this before… a timeless, chilling voice, eerily like the voice of the German people after the Holocaust… [With it] Valerie Martin opens a window on that evil of human nature that makes one group of people less than another.” —Winston-Salem Journal

 

“So riveting that once you start reading this slender novel, it’s unlikely you’ll put it down. A bitter, mesmerizing account of the caustic costs of slavery.” —Detroit Free Press

 

“Confirms that Martin is a vibrant force in American fiction… Martin uncovers the violent nature of slavery, ownership and property.” —The New Orleans Times-Picayune

 

“A ferociously honest book [on] a subject long wrapped in ‘lies without end’: race in America…. Manon is a shadow sister to Scarlett O’Hara, offering [us] the unvarnished voice of her time…. [This is] fiction that can remake the way we understand ourselves.” —Salon

 

“Martin’s explorations of character are unsparing as she reveals both Manon and Sarah in all their desperate humanity. A brave and riveting book.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

 

“The real achievement is that Martin leaves us wondering what ‘peculiar institutions’ we are embracing in our own world.” —The News & Observer

 

“Brilliant… chilling clarity…Property is historical fiction that is both literary and literal in that it poetically bares a truth.” —New York Daily News

 

“Vivid and gripping. I read it in one gulp.” —Marilyn French

 

“Martin’s writing is graceful, controlled and precise…The breadth of Martin’s interests are remarkable. She moves around flawlessly in time and space: nothing frightens her.” —Fay Weldon

 

“As chilling and satisfying as anything she has written. . . . A fierce and uncompromising book, a bracing and cathartic work of art.” —Chicago Tribune

 

“In this stunningly powerful novel, Valerie Martin’s gifts-a fearless originality and seemingly limitless perspective combined with a cool and elegant intelligence-are all on splendid display.” —Barbara Gowdy

 

“A wonderful novel, vivid, revealing.” —Carol Shields

 

“[Property] is a brilliant, chillingly revelatory piece of fiction, a work of craft, economy and such good merciless observation-one of those rare, crucial novels illuminating a history we think we know and understand so that after we’ve read it we’ll never forget its truths.” —Ali Smith

 

“Tightly constructed [and] suspenseful. . . . Manon is a vividly presented voice, precociously cynical, mordantly amusing, despairing. . . . A subtly cadenced novel of racial and sexual transgressions.” —The New York Review of Books

 

“Fraught with tension, desperation, and rage, all masterfully sustained. . . . An unflinching depiction of our nation’s most shameful historical chapter.” —Los Angeles Times

 

“Compelling. . . . A painful yet elegant study of . . . the authority of the mighty over the deprived. . . . Astonishing.” —The Washington Post

 

“Quick-paced and absorbing . . . chilling, understated and brilliant.” —The Miami Herald

 

“A fascinating little gem of darkness.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Awards

Orange Prize WINNER 2003

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