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 powerful.
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From the acclaimed author of Mary Reilly, a groundbreaking novel that reexamines the questions of power and resistance, violence and sex, which inform all her work.
Set in the surreal heat of the antebellum South during a slave rebellion, PROPERTY takes the form of a dramatic monologue, bringing to the page a voice rarely heard in American fiction: the voice of a woman slave holder. Manon Gaudet is pretty and petulant, self-absorbed and bored. She has come to a sugar plantation north of New Orleans as a bride, bringing with her a prized piece of property, the young slave Sarah, only to see Sarah become her husband?s mistress and bear his child. As the whispers of a slave rebellion grow louder and more threatening, Manon speaks to us of her past and her present, her longings and dreams ? an uncensored, pitch-perfect voice from the heart of moral darkness.
PROPERTY is riveting fiction, fast, richly plotted, shimmering with visual detail. It is also an invitation to re-examine the traditions of the Southern novel and the myth of the chivalrous South, and a haunting meditation on what Valerie Martin has called ?the fantastic and constant perversity of the oppressor to feel victimized by the oppressed.?
From the Hardcover edition.
“I made the “mistake” of glancing at the opening page and was instantly hijacked into the text. 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"
"A wonderful novel, vivid, revealing."
"In this stunningly powerful novel, Valerie Martin's gifts--a fearless originality and seemingly limitless perspective combined with a cool and elegant intelligenc--are all on splendid display."
"[ Property] is vivid and gripping. I read it in one gulp."
“[ 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 truth.”
-Ali Smith, author of Hotel World
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Book Description Vintage. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0375713301 . Bookseller Inventory # LWN6964MGHMHM072916O0539P
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Book Description Vintage, 2004. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "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. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0375713301
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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Valerie Martinís Property delivers an eerily mesmerizing inquiry into slaveryís 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 Manonís 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780375713309
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Book Description VINTAGE BOOKS, 2004. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780375713309