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14.2 hrs • Mar/23/2017 • Unabridged
In January 2006, after the Republic of Liberia had been racked by fourteen years of brutal civil conflict, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf—Africa’s “Iron Lady”—was sworn in as president, an event that marked a tremendous turning point in the history of the West African nation.In this stirring memoir, Sirleaf shares the story of her rise to power, including her early childhood; her experiences with abuse, imprisonment, and exile; and her fight for democracy and social justice. She reveals her determination to succeed in multiple worlds, from her studies in the United States to her work as an international bank executive, to campaigning in some of Liberia’s most desperate and war-torn villages and neighborhoods. It is the tale of an outspoken political and social reformer who fought the oppression of dictators and championed change. By telling her story, Sirleaf encourages women everywhere to pursue leadership roles at the highest levels of power, and gives us all hope that we can change the world.Available Formats:2.3 hrs • Mar/14/2017 • Unabridged
This collection is Jamaica Kincaid’s earliest published writings: her inspired, lyrical short stories.These stories plunge the listener gently into another way of perceiving both the physical world and its elusive inhabitants. Her narrative is, by turns, naïvely whimsical and biblical in its assurance, and it speaks of what is partially remembered, partly divined. The memories often concern a childhood in the Caribbean—family, manners, and landscape—as distilled and transformed by Kincaid’s special style and vision.Kincaid leads us to consider, as if for the first time, the powerful ties between mother and child, the beauty and destructiveness of nature, the gulf between the masculine and the feminine, the significance of such familiar things as a house, a cup, a pen. Transfiguring our human form and our surroundings—shedding skin, darkening an afternoon, painting a perfect place—these stories tell us something we didn’t know, in a way we hadn’t expected.Available Formats: CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental22.6 hrs • Mar/14/2017 • Unabridged
The waters rose, submerging New York City. But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been—though changed forever. Every street became a canal, every skyscraper an island …Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building, Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides. And how we too will change.Available Formats: CD14.9 hrs • Feb/28/2017 • Unabridged
In the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American history.But, for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked …Leeba doesn’t exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba’s Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the civil rights movement, and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.Available Formats: CD, MP3 CD4.3 hrs • Feb/21/2017 • Unabridged
The coming-of-age story of one of Jamaica Kincaid’s most admired creationsLucy, a teenage girl from the West Indies, comes to North America to work as an au pair for Lewis and Mariah and their four children. Lewis and Mariah are a thrice-blessed couple—handsome, rich, and seemingly happy. Yet, almost at once, Lucy begins to notice cracks in their beautiful façade. With mingled anger and compassion, Lucy scrutinizes the assumptions and verities of her employers’ world and compares them with the vivid realities of her native place. Lucy has no illusions about her own past, but neither is she prepared to be deceived about where she presently is. At the same time that Lucy is coming to terms with Lewis’s and Mariah’s lives, she is also unraveling the mysteries of her own sexuality. Gradually a new person unfolds: passionate, forthright, and disarmingly honest. In Lucy, Jamaica Kincaid has created a startling new character possessed with adamantine clear-sightedness and ferocious integrity—a captivating heroine for our time.Available Formats: CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental8.6 hrs • Feb/14/2017 • Unabridged
On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by US immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola must learn that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream? In her stunning debut, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and Vodou culture. Unflinching yet filled with joy, American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story.Available Formats: CD, MP3 CD6.8 hrs • Feb/07/2017 • Unabridged
A startling and eye-opening look into America’s First Family, Never Caught is the powerful narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave who risked it all to escape the nation’s capital and reach freedom.When George Washington was elected president, he reluctantly left behind his beloved Mount Vernon to serve in Philadelphia, the temporary seat of the nation’s capital. In setting up his household he took Tobias Lear, his celebrated secretary, and eight slaves, including Ona Judge, about which little has been written. As he grew accustomed to Northern ways, there was one change he couldn’t get his arms around: Pennsylvania law required enslaved people be set free after six months of residency in the state. Rather than comply, Washington decided to circumvent the law. Every six months he sent the slaves back down south just as the clock was about to expire. Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, the few pleasantries she was afforded were nothing compared to freedom, a glimpse of which she encountered first-hand in Philadelphia. So, when the opportunity presented itself one cold spring day in Philadelphia, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. At just twenty-two-years-old, Ona became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property. Impeccably researched, historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar weaves a powerful tale and offers fascinating new scholarship on how one young woman risked it all to gain freedom from the famous founding father.Available Formats:4.9 hrs • Jan/25/2017 • Unabridged
American Book Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat earned a National Book Award nomination for this brilliant collection of stories, which includes Pushcart Prize winner "Between the Pool and the Gardenias." A "remarkably gifted writer" (Publishers Weekly), Danticat examines the brutality of her native Haiti, particularly as it affects women, in tales that soar with raw emotion.Available Formats:8.0 hrs • Jan/25/2017 • Unabridged
A Commonwealth Writers' Best First Book Award winner, Donna Daley-Clarke's transfixing yet often hilarious novel vividly entwines the street-smart stories of one black family facing racism and loss in 1970s London. With his father in jail, his mother passed on, and his comic book idols outgrown, lazy-eyed teenager Geoffhurst must find a new hero to inspire him.Available Formats:5.5 hrs • Jan/17/2017 • Unabridged
A great writer’s lush, panoramic novel: the story of an ordinary man, his century, and his home.Jamaica Kincaid’s first obsession, the island of Antigua, comes vibrantly to life under the gaze of Mr. Potter, an illiterate taxi chauffeur who makes his living along the wide, open roads that pass the only towns he has ever seen and the graveyard where he will be buried. The sun shines squarely overhead, the ocean lies on every side, and suppressed passion fills the air. Misery infects the unstudied, slow pace of this island and of Mr. Potter’s days. As the narrative unfolds in linked vignettes, his story becomes the story of a vital, crippled community. Kincaid strings together a moving picture of Mr. Potter’s ancestors—beginning with memories of his father, a poor fisherman, and his mother, who committed suicide—and the outside world that presses in on his life, in the form of his Lebanese employer and, later, a couple fleeing World War II. Within these surroundings, Mr. Potter struggles to live at ease: to purchase a car, to have girlfriends, to shake off the encumbrance of his daughters—one of whom will return to Antigua after he dies and tell his story with equal measures of distance and sympathy. In Mr. Potter, her most luminous, ambitious work to date, Kincaid breathes life into a figure unlike any in contemporary fiction, an individual consciousness emerging gloriously out of an unexamined life.Available Formats: CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental13.4 hrs • Dec/21/2016 • Unabridged
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Stacey Patton penned this moving memoir describing her tumultuous childhood growing up first in a state institution and then in a fractured foster family. She makes a strong case to illustrate how the brutal legacy of slavery continues to affect African-American families today.Available Formats:6.4 hrs • Dec/13/2016 • Unabridged
From the recipient of the 2010 Clifton Fadiman Medal comes an unforgettable novel of one woman’s courageous coming of age.Powerful, disturbing, and stirring, Jamaica Kincaid’s novel is the deeply charged story of a woman’s life on the island of Dominica. Xuela Claudette Richardson, the daughter of a Carib mother and a half-Scottish, half-African father, loses her mother to death the moment she is born and must find her way on her own.Jamaica Kincaid takes us from Xuela’s childhood in a home where she can hear the song of the sea to the tin-roofed room where she lives as a schoolgirl in the house of Jack La Batte, who becomes her first lover. Xuela develops a passion for the stevedore Roland, who steals bolts of Irish linen for her from the ships he unloads, but she eventually marries an English doctor, Philip Bailey. Xuela’s intensely physical world is redolent of overripe fruit, gentian violet, sulfur, and rain on the road. It seethes with her sorrow, her deep sympathy for those who share her history, her fear of her father, and her desperate loneliness. But underlying all is “the black room of the world” that is Xuela’s barrenness and life without a mother.The Autobiography of My Mother is a story of love, fear, loss, and the forging of character, an account of one woman’s inexorable evolution, evoked in startling and magical poetry.Available Formats: CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental15.0 hrs • Nov/23/2016 • Unabridged
Margaret Cezair-Thompson’s second novel is a hit with book clubs across the country. A moving tale of discovery and reconciliation, The Pirate’s Daughter follows a mother and daughter struggling with a difficult legacy. Living in tropical Jamaica, adventurous Ida dreams of a place outside of her small island town. And her 26-year-old daughter May-the illegitimate offspring of legendary actor and notorious playboy Errol Flynn-searches for an identity of her own.Available Formats:11.6 hrs • Nov/23/2016 • Unabridged
Karen Grigsby Bates, a contributor to People magazine and the Los Angeles Times and an NPR commentator, delivers a slick mystery featuring sharp-tongued reporter Alex Powell. While attending the National Association of Black Journalists conference, Alex discovers the dead body of a publishing bigwig who was about to be toasted as journalist of the year. As Alex investigates, she uncovers deadly secrets-and puts her own life in danger.Available Formats:8.3 hrs • Nov/02/2016 • Unabridged
“In this stunning debut novel, a Kenyan expat living the American dream with her husband and adopted son soon finds it marred by child trafficking, scandal, and a problematic past. Mugure and Zack seem to have the picture-perfect family: a young, healthy son, a beautiful home in Riverdale, New York, and a bright future. But one night, as Mugure is rummaging through an old drawer, she comes across a piece of paper with a note scrawled on it-a note that calls into question everything she’s ever believed about her husband . . . A wandering curiosity may have gotten the best of Mugure this time as she heads down a dangerous road that takes her back to Kenya, where new discoveries threaten to undo her idyllic life. She wonders if she ever really knew the man she married and begins to piece together the signs that were there since the beginning. Who was that suspicious man who trailed Zack and Mugure on their first date at a New York nightclub? What about the closing of the agency that facilitated the adoption of their son? The Fall of Saints tackles real-life political and ethical issues through a striking, beautifully rendered story. This extraordinary novel will tug at your heart and keep it racing until the end”Available Formats:7.2 hrs • Aug/29/2013 • Unabridged
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by sevens. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life. Until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.Available Formats: Retail CD Buy-InLoading more titles...
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