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Babysitter by Joyce Carol Oates
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Babysitter by Joyce Carol Oates
Aug 23, 2022 | ISBN 9780593535189

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    Jun 06, 2023 | ISBN 9780593468623

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  • Aug 23, 2022 | ISBN 9780593535189

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  • Aug 23, 2022 | ISBN 9780593627884

    1042 Minutes

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“[Oates] writes beautifully. Hannah’s unreliable, elliptical narrative is seductive and compelling, like following someone into a fever dream . . . Oates masterfully manipulates the narrative timeline, without losing the reader in the process. She is in no hurry to trigger the action, dropping tiny morsels of foreshadowing to keep us on our toes . . . Babysitter is a ghost story without the ghosts, but with tension thick enough to inspire several heart attacks. Read with care.”
—Oyinkan Braithwaite, The New York Times Book Review

“Violent and vile, timely and terrifying . . . [Babysitter’s] pages are lit up by Oates’s searing rage about patriarchy’s toxic stain, the church’s enabling of and eager participation in the sexual predation of children, racism’s pernicious taint . . . Oates’s ability to create a sickening sense of horror is as keen as ever . . . Oates’s righteous anger, her ability to invest her story with mythological resonance, and her talent at creating eerie scenes all make Babysitter a worthwhile read.”
—Priscilla Gilman, The Boston Globe

“[Babysitter] is a wild and panoramic piece of work, the serial killer’s activities a mere backdrop to a pinpoint vision of a society with rottenness at its core . . . To be able to write with such tearing astuteness about such fiercely contemporary issues would be a feat for any author of any age . . . As ever, Oates’s prose—almost insolently alive—would seem to break all the rules. The result is nothing less than magical . . . Definitely one of Oates’s finest achievements to date, Babysitter is an unforgettable portrait.”
—Julie Myerson, The Guardian

Babysitter is poetry, yes, but hung on a sturdy framework that supports it. Oates gives us a cast of jagged, interesting characters . . . A smashing success.”
—Meredith Mara, Oprah Daily

“Unsettling, mysterious, deft, sinister, eerily plausible.”
—Margaret Atwood, author of The Testaments, via Twitter

“[Oates’s] noirish new novel is particularly dark—and gripping.”
—Christina Ianzito, AARP Magazine

“Oates contorts language in her descriptions of characters, creating unease as you second-guess who these people truly are, and who to trust . . . Despite the horror of the story, Oates’ skill with narrative and her mastery of prose create a compelling study in the most ugly aspects of human desire.”
—Kimberly Long, Financial Times

“Captivating . . . I could not put this book down!”
— Zibby Owens, Good Morning America

“[Oates] proves once again her unerring grasp on America’s worst fears and desires in Babysitter, an extraordinary slice of suburban noir that centers on a white, wealthy, outlying enclave of Detroit terrorized by a child murderer in the 1970s . . . As [Oates] stares unflinchingly down the barrel of America’s race and gender wars, her absolute moral clarity shines through.”
— Claire Allfree, Daily Mail

“Oates’s unflinching compulsion to go there taps into something powerful and disturbing. I can see a book club discussion of this coming to blows. And possibly some hurled rosé.”
—Lisa Henricksson, Air Mail

“I can’t remember the last time I read a book with the excitement and tension of Babysitter . . . [Oates] is a master at pretty much everything, including domestic suspense . . . Everything crackles: the characters, the plot, she even pumps some new life into the serial killer trope.”
—Lisa Levy, CrimeReads

“Carefully constructed sentences, pitch-perfect dialogue, and a central character who is simultaneously sympathetic and repellent. An outstanding novel from a true modern master who jumps across genres with unrivaled dexterity.”
Booklist, starred

“A searing work of slow-burning domestic noir . . . Oates paints an unflinching portrait of 1970s upper-middle-class America, touching on issues of racism, classism, and institutional abuse while exploring society’s tendency to value women solely in relation to the role they fill—be it wife, mother, or sexual object.”
Kirkus Reviews

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