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About the Book

About the Book

My Life as a Rat

Which should prevail: loyalty to family or loyalty to the truth? Is telling the truth ever a mistake and is lying for one’s family ever justified? Can one do the right thing, but bitterly regret it?

MY LIFE AS A RAT follows Violet Rue Kerrigan, a young woman who looks back upon her life in exile from her family following her testimony, at age 12, concerning what she knew to be the racist murder of an African-American boy by her older brothers. In a succession of vividly recalled episodes Violet contemplates the circumstances of her life as the initially beloved youngest child of seven Kerrigan children who inadvertently “informs” on her brothers, setting into motion their arrests and convictions and her own long estrangement.

Arresting and poignant, MY LIFE AS A RAT traces a life of banishment from a family --- banishment from parents, siblings and the Church --- that forces Violet to discover her own identity, to break the powerful spell of family and to emerge from her long exile as a “rat” into a transformed life.

Audiobook available, read by Sadie Alexandru

My Life as a Rat
by Joyce Carol Oates

  • Publication Date: May 5, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco
  • ISBN-10: 0062899848
  • ISBN-13: 9780062899842