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This title in other editions

Property: A Novel

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Property: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780375713309
ISBN10: 0375713301
Condition: Standard
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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Valerie Martin's Property delivers an eerily mesmerizing inquiry into slavery's venomous effects on the owner and the owned. The year is 1828, the setting a Louisiana sugar plantation where Manon Gaudet, pretty, bitterly intelligent, and monstrously self-absorbed, seethes under the dominion of her boorish husband. In particular his relationship with her slave Sarah, who is both his victim and his mistress.

Exploring the permutations of Manon's own obsession with Sarah against the backdrop of an impending slave rebellion, Property unfolds with the speed and menace of heat lightning, casting a startling light from the past upon the assumptions we still make about the powerful and powerless.

Review:

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

Review:

"This fresh, unsentimental look at what slaveowning does to (and for) one's interior life must be a first. And the writing — so prised and clean-limbed — is a marvel." Toni Morrison

Review:

"A fascinating little gem of darkness." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"[A] powerful story....Martin conveys this sickening blend of moral delusion and self-serving repugnance in feverish prose that perfectly reflects Manon's desperation....Martin adds resonance to a compelling story." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"A nimble, enlightening and horrific story about the morally corrosive effects of slavery and one childish soul, locked in a cycle of permanent bitterness." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The book is taut and atmospheric and effectively chronicles an obsessive fixation." Booklist

Review:

"Some of the scenes in the novel are so astonishing they would not work if Martin did not have such a fine and sure touch." The Washington Post

Review:

"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

Review:

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

Review:

"This is not Margaret Mitchell's Scarlett O'Hara, and this Louisiana plantation is not Tara, but for the reader willing to take a thought-provoking look at this period in American history, Property is ultimately rewarding." Dallas Morning News

Review:

"I finished this extremely short book feeling a thirst to know more from a book that was less a novel than an extended outline. Martin did not back up this historical novel with enough history or enough detail..." Kansas City Star

Review:

"[A] fierce and fiercely felt novel....When it tries too hard to deliver verifiable facts, Property can seem pedantic; when it relies instead on the grotesqueries of Manon's life, it makes its point with splendid simplicity." Boston Globe

Synopsis:

Valerie Martins Property delivers an eerily mesmerizing inquiry into slaverys venomous effects on the owner and the owned. The year is 1828, the setting a Louisiana sugar plantation where Manon Gaudet, pretty, bitterly intelligent, and monstrously self-absorbed, seethes under the dominion of her boorish husband. In particular his relationship with her slave Sarah, who is both his victim and his mistress.

Exploring the permutations of Manons own obsession with Sarah against the backdrop of an impending slave rebellion, Property unfolds with the speed and menace of heat lightning, casting a startling light from the past upon the assumptions we still make about the powerful and powerful.

About the Author

Valerie Martin is the author of two collections of short fiction and six novels, including Italian Fever, The Great Divorce, and Mary Reilly. Her most recent book is a nonfiction work on St. Francis of Assisi: Salvation: Scenes from the Life of St. Francis. She resides in upstate New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Island Dan, March 12, 2010 (view all comments by Island Dan)
A brilliantly controlled examination of the internalized experience of American slavery that discards the usual “black and white” boundaries in exchange for a complex, perverse physical and emotional landscape. Detailed enough to transport you to a time long-forgotten and resonant enough to remind you that its legacy haunts us even now. Plus, it’s a total page-turner! I couldn’t put it down!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375713309
Author:
Martin, Valerie
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Chemistry - Organic
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Slavery
Subject:
Mistresses
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
April 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8 x 5.1 x .52 in .425 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Property: A Novel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375713309 Reviews:
"Review" by , "As chilling and satisfying as anything she has written....A fierce and uncompromising book, a bracing and cathartic work of art."
"Review" by , "This fresh, unsentimental look at what slaveowning does to (and for) one's interior life must be a first. And the writing — so prised and clean-limbed — is a marvel." Toni Morrison
"Review" by , "A fascinating little gem of darkness."
"Review" by , "[A] powerful story....Martin conveys this sickening blend of moral delusion and self-serving repugnance in feverish prose that perfectly reflects Manon's desperation....Martin adds resonance to a compelling story."
"Review" by , "A nimble, enlightening and horrific story about the morally corrosive effects of slavery and one childish soul, locked in a cycle of permanent bitterness."
"Review" by , "The book is taut and atmospheric and effectively chronicles an obsessive fixation."
"Review" by , "Some of the scenes in the novel are so astonishing they would not work if Martin did not have such a fine and sure touch."
"Review" by , "Tightly constructed [and] suspenseful....Manon is a vividly presented voice, precociously cynical, mordantly amusing, despairing....A subtly cadenced novel of racial and sexual transgressions."
"Review" by , "Fraught with tension, desperation, and rage, all masterfully sustained....An unflinching depiction of our nation's most shameful historical chapter."
"Review" by , "This is not Margaret Mitchell's Scarlett O'Hara, and this Louisiana plantation is not Tara, but for the reader willing to take a thought-provoking look at this period in American history, Property is ultimately rewarding."
"Review" by , "I finished this extremely short book feeling a thirst to know more from a book that was less a novel than an extended outline. Martin did not back up this historical novel with enough history or enough detail..."
"Review" by , "[A] fierce and fiercely felt novel....When it tries too hard to deliver verifiable facts, Property can seem pedantic; when it relies instead on the grotesqueries of Manon's life, it makes its point with splendid simplicity."
"Synopsis" by , Valerie Martins Property delivers an eerily mesmerizing inquiry into slaverys venomous effects on the owner and the owned. The year is 1828, the setting a Louisiana sugar plantation where Manon Gaudet, pretty, bitterly intelligent, and monstrously self-absorbed, seethes under the dominion of her boorish husband. In particular his relationship with her slave Sarah, who is both his victim and his mistress.

Exploring the permutations of Manons own obsession with Sarah against the backdrop of an impending slave rebellion, Property unfolds with the speed and menace of heat lightning, casting a startling light from the past upon the assumptions we still make about the powerful and powerful.

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