Synopses & Reviews
A diverse selection of stories of contemporary American life and dreams lost and then found, this audio CD from the acclaimed Selected Shorts series features works from four of todays most talented authors: Sherman Alexie, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Aleksandar Hemon, and Jhumpa Lahiri. A robbery and its dramatic consequences lead a Spokane Indian to rethink his entire life in Alexies "Breaking and Entering," dynamically performed by B. D. Wong. A young Nigerian woman tackles adventure by taking a Greyhound bus to the end of the line and starting a new life in Hartford in Adichies longing-filled story "The Thing Around Your Neck," performed by Condola Rashad. Tony winner Boyd Gaines performs Hemons heartfelt tale "Good Living," in which a Bosnian emigrant seeks the American dream while selling magazines door to door in Chicago. Lastly, Rita Wolf gives a breathtaking performance of "Hell-Heaven," Lahiris story of passions and tensions in a Bengali family in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from her acclaimed collection Unaccustomed Earth. This CD is sure to delight listeners while providing an opportunity for artists and audiences to connect.
"In Adichie's 'The Thing Around Your Neck,' a young Nigerian immigrant is both adored and objectified by her white boyfriend. Condola Rashad's narration gives the story energy, but her American accent fails to convey the narrator's Igbo cadences. In Lahiri's 'Hell-Heaven,' the daughter of Bengali immigrants witnesses her mother's tormented infatuation with a young Calcutta bachelor who marries an American woman. Narrator Rita Wolf captures the hesitant English of the narrator's Bengali parents, but uses an inappropriate British accent for the American-born child. In B.D. Wong's rendition of Alexie's 'Breaking and Entering,' a Spokane Native American is enraged when the television news mistakenly identifies him as white after he kills a black intruder. Although Wong delivers a fine reading, his performance (and that of Boyd Gaines in Hemon's 'Good Living') is marred by the fluctuating volume of the production each story was recorded live at Symphony Space in New York City which is often too loud for listeners to bear." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Sherman Alexie is a nationally known National Book Award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker. His work includes The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and the short story collection War Dances, for which he won the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He lives in Seattle. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Purple Hibiscus, and the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck. She lives in Boston. Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project; Love and Obstacles; Nowhere Man, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and The Question of Bruno. He lives in Chicago. Jhumpa Lahiri is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and the author of the novel The Namesake and the story collections Unaccustomed Earth and Interpreter of Maladies, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Symphony Space is a performing arts center based in New York City that fosters artistically and culturally diverse performing arts, literary, and film programs that bring artists and audiences together in an atmosphere of exploration and intimacy.