Pearce Oysters

21,000+ Reviews has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$27.99  $26.03
Zibby Books
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.25 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author

Joselyn Takacs holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Southern California and an MFA in Fiction from Johns Hopkins University. Her fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, Narrative, Tin House, Harvard Review, The Rumpus, DIAGRAM, Columbia: A Journal of Art and Literature, and elsewhere. She has published interviews and book reviews in the Los Angeles Review of Books and Entropy. Joselyn has taught writing at the University of Southern California and Johns Hopkins University. She lived in New Orleans at the time of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Spill, and in 2015, she received a grant to record the oral histories of Louisiana oyster farmers in the wake of the environmental disaster. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband.


"In her gripping and emotionally rich novel, Joselyn Takacs is as perceptive about the natural world as she is about the ecosystem of the troubled family at the heart of this book. Pearce Oysters is an impressive, unflinching, and haunting debut."
--Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings

"Against the encroaching consequences of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Pearce Oysters offers a precise, panoramic, and ultimately devastating vision of the oystermen, anarchists, day laborers, deadbeats and struggling families who populate Louisiana's Gulf Coast. This is fiction with a social conscience that is, more wonderful still, beautifully told: witty, vivid, consistently humane. Joselyn Takacs understands the economics of the domestic oyster industry as well as she knows the permutations of love, loyalty, and resentment that define family life--or any life. A fabulous debut: entertaining, absorbing, necessary and true."
--Alice McDermott, author of Absolution

"Pearce Oysters is that rare novel able to speak eloquently and empathetically for our complex times while also delivering an irresistible, heartrending story. When the Pearce family is thrust into a reluctant reckoning with loss and injustice, they must all find the courage to reimagine their relationships--to their generational Louisiana coastal home and livelihood, to truth and lies, and, most importantly, to each other. Takacs is a gifted writer who develops these deeply flawed but earnest characters with extraordinary authenticity, compassion, and intelligence. A powerful, transportive debut. I simply couldn't put it down."
--Shelley Read, author of Go as a River

"Pearce Oysters is chock full of pleasures, and especially potent is how deeply Takacs allows for each perspective, including the presence of nature. Everyone and everything central to the book gets time and dignity on the page and as a result this world is so lived-in and thoughtful and beautifully layered. A remarkable debut."
--Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

"Pearce Oysters is a pearl of a novel, as gritty, complex, and full of nuance as the eponymous bivalve at its center. Debut author Joselyn Takacs is as skilled at portraying the bayous, swamps, and bays of Louisiana's coastline as she is exploring all that is unpredictable about the human heart, especially in times of crisis. It's a remarkable novel."
--Adrienne Brodeur, author of Little Monsters

"Pearce Oysters tears back the veil and reveals the crude realities of the biggest oil spill in history. Takacs shows an extraordinary talent for describing the gritty lives of a proud oyster family caught in the emotional undertow of lies and loss, denial and perseverance. Eye opening and compelling, I couldn't put it down."
--Mary Alice Monroe, author of The Summer Girls

"A vivid, intimate portrait of a disaster the world has forgotten, even though for families along the Gulf Coast it has never ended. Joselyn Takacs is alert to the violent contradictions of life in southern Louisiana: natural glory and industrial horror, boundless faith and bottomless despair, disintegration and reconstruction. An impressive, big-hearted debut."
--Nathaniel Rich, author of Losing Earth

"There's nothing I love more than a family drama steeped in love and complication, and Pearce Oysters delivers it note for note. Not only is this story a staggering account of all we lost in the BP oil spill, it also reminds us of what remains at stake around dinner tables across the country: what it means to fight for a legacy, and why we stay together in the midst of our fiercest trials. Full of wit, grit, and longing, this novel captured my whole heart."
--Amy Jo Burns, author of Mercury

"Joselyn Takacs's Pearce Oysters is a beautiful, important debut that explores the impossibility and dignity of taking a stand, of small rebellions in the face of large upheavals. With lyrical prose, sly humor, and endless empathy, Takacs balances the intimate with the global, showing us the Pearce family in all of their flawed complexity as they attempt to control their own narratives in the face of catastrophic systemic failures. An essential novel for our time, Takacs captures a way of life on the Louisiana coast that, even as you turn the pages of the book, is moving further out of reach."
--Gwen E. Kirby, author of Shit Cassandra Saw

"Having witnessed and chronicled much of the pain and chaos of that awful summer when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout polluted the Gulf region and coated the minds and souls of people whose livelihoods and emotional wellbeing teetered on collapse, I am astonished at how well Joselyn Takacs takes us there. She has an amazingly sensitive ear for the braided rhythms of life, work, and family dynamics; and a finely attuned instinct for carrying her readers deep into human drama."
--Carl Safina, author of A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout

"Takacs tells a story that feels fresh in its point of view, all the while lending her characters a humanity that paints them neither as heroes nor as villains, but as messy, complex, and wholly worthy of the reader's time . . . A unique story with a wealth of compelling characters."
--Kirkus Review

"The complex characters and the lovingly described Louisiana setting bring this eco-tragedy sympathetically to life. Recommended to readers of issue-oriented fiction such as Charlotte McConaghy's Migrations and Barbara Kingsolver's Demon Copperhead."