Narrated By: Sadie Alexandru
Duration: 13 hours and 3 minutes
What to expect
Once I’d been Daddy’s favourite. Before something terrible happened.
Violet Rue is the baby of the seven Kerrigan children and adores her big brothers. What’s more, she knows that a family protects its own. To go outside the family – to betray the family – is unforgiveable. So when she overhears a conversation not meant for her ears and discovers that her brothers have committed a heinous crime, she is torn between her loyalty to her family and her sense of justice. The decision she takes will change her life for ever.
Exploring racism, misogyny, community, family, loyalty, sexuality and identity, this is a dark story with a tense and propulsive atmosphere – Joyce Carol Oates at her very best.
Modern & contemporary fiction
Listen to a sample
‘Simply the most consistently inventive, brilliant, curious and creative writer going’ Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl
'I stand in awe before such an unresting hunger for the literary endeavour' Rose Tremain
‘My Life as a Rat is Oates at her best – a powerful, uncompromising story that explores racism, misogyny and recent American history’ Kate Saunders, The Times
‘Sexism, rape, racism. Murder, sadism – fans will savour this stew of typical Oatsian nasties, in which 12-year old Violet is cruelly exiled from her family … the odyssey her psyche endures is served well by Oates’s juttery, rough-edged prose’ Mail on Sunday
‘Oates’s novel adroitly touches on race, loyalty, misogyny, and class inequality while also telling a moving story with a winning narrator. This book should please her fans and win her new ones’ Publishers Weekly
‘Oates’s prose contains a deep-felt rawness which hovers between hope, despair and love’ Guardian