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Download An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir, by Elizabeth McCracken Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,439 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth McCracken Narrator: Elizabeth McCracken Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2008 ISBN: 9781600244728
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"This is the happiest story in the world with the saddest ending," writes Elizabeth McCracken in her powerful, inspiring memoir. A prize-winning, successful novelist in her 30s, McCracken was happy to be an itinerant writer and self-proclaimed spinster. But suddenly she fell in love, got married, and two years ago was living in a remote part of France, working on her novel, and waiting for the birth of her first child.
This audiobook is about what happened next. In her ninth month of pregnancy, she learned that her baby boy had died. How do you deal with and recover from this kind of loss? Of course you don't-but you go on. And if you have ever experienced loss or love someone who has, you will hope to go on with the help and company of this remarkable audiobook.
With humor and heart and unfailing generosity, McCracken considers the nature of love, and grief. She opens her heart and leaves all of ours the richer for it. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, Elizabeth McCracken does not howl out her loss. She is devastatingly calm and in this matches measure for measure her own fine writing. By the end of this memoir you will have held a beautiful child in your hands and you will have acknowledged him. This book is an extraordinary gift to us all.”

    Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon

  • McCracken uses the brief length (4 1/2 hours of playing time) of her memoir to plumb deeply into her feelings of guilt and inadequacy....Alternately brittle and defiant, McCracken comes to her own terms with her ill-fated son... The News & Advance
  • “There can be few grimmer topics for a book than a stillborn baby, but…it’s the funniest book about a dead baby that you will ever read…It is, as McCracken writes, ‘a story so grim and lessonless it’s better not to think about at all.’ But reading it is a mysteriously enlarging experience. It could pair neatly with Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking: it’s hard to imagine two more rigorous, unsentimental guides to enduring the very bottom of the scale of human emotion.”

    Lev Grossman, Time

  • “A gorgeously loving and frank account.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “[McCracken’s] memoir is in fact characterised by moving brevity, its chronology looping back and forth with dreamlike—or rather, nightmarish—elasticity as she details the ordeal of Pudding’s delivery…Without overburdening her second, living baby boy—a kicking marvel with a lusty cry—McCracken manages to keep Pudding in her heart. She manages, also, the equally complex task of delivering a grief memoir that fuses the immediacy readers crave from the genre with all the reflective, consoling depth of fiction.”

    Observer (London)

  • “McCracken’s reading is enthralling and deeply moving, as if she is relating this intimate journey directly to each listener individually from a dark, candle-lit room, in an unforgettable performance.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)

  • “Stunning…McCracken has succeeded in writing a beautiful, precise and heartbreaking account without sentimentality or pity.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Elizabeth McCracken’s poignant story of love and loss, written as a tribute to the lost child and as a catharsis for her and her husband, evokes with its simultaneously tender prose and dark sense of humor the hopes and grief of a couple that has suffered the unthinkable. McCracken narrates her own story with a sort of quiet resolve, emotions not on full display in her voice but at the same time easily discernible just beneath a thin veneer of composure. Listeners will feel the mixture of joy and sadness in her understated performance.”

    AudioFile

  • One of the 2008 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allie | 2/18/2014

    " This was a very good book - well-written and absorbing. It was a quick read too - I got through it in one day. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie | 2/6/2014

    " Grief. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 1/29/2014

    " Everyone who is a parent should read this book. Everyone who has lost a child, known someone who has lost a child, or known someone who has lost any loved one should read this book. It's powerfully (but NOT painfully) raw and honest. It also gave me great insight into how I can be a friend to my friends who have experienced great loss. This is one of the best books I've read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nimmi | 1/20/2014

    " for anyone who has ever lost a child... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 1/19/2014

    " Having two very close friends who have gone through a full term stillbirth, I thought this book might help me understand what they had gone through. The author's first baby was stillborn and this book tells of her experience. The book was interesting and sad and hopeful. It makes me grateful that my friends both have strong relgious beliefs that helped them through such a traumatic time. The author does not have any particular religious beliefs. Her experience was particularly interesting since her and her husband were living in France at the time her baby was stillborn. Interesting to read about the different customs and beliefs. Overall, a worthwhile read although I don't know that it gave me more insight than what my friends had aleady shared with me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessie | 1/9/2014

    " Another book that is probably not the best one to read while pregnant, since it's a memoir of her experience with having a stillborn baby. It was still a good memoir and I thought it was very well-written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 liz girolami | 12/26/2013

    " so fascinating....hard breakingly honest....amazing depth about motherhood, death, etc. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Celeste | 12/8/2013

    " Devastating and beautiful, like every illness memoir (hell--any book at all) should be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abigail | 12/4/2013

    " This book is terrifying and so beautifully written. A short memoir by a woman who had a stillbirth, it articulates such profound grief. I think about this book a lot. She's a very brave lady. It helped me to better understand how to respond to other people's grief. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alice | 12/3/2013

    " It's something I've needed to read after having the most devastating experience I've ever had. I appreciated the way the author wove in warmth and wicked humor into the heartwrenching experience of losing your baby. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Wilson-anderson | 11/30/2013

    " Broke my heart to read it, but it was wonderfully well written. I would recommend it to anyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 11/23/2013

    " Devastating, hopeful, wonderful. I already loved Elizabeth McCracken's writing and this book made me fall in love with her- her rawness, vulnerability, dark humor. I mostly cried my way through this book but didn't want to put it down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Molly | 8/11/2013

    " Probably not worth my time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 6/9/2013

    " This book really made me put my recent miscarriage into a real perspective. She is such a brave woman to be able to write about such pain. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine Gross-Loh | 5/4/2013

    " One of the most moving memoirs I've ever read. The spare, heartbreaking language stays with you long after you close the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tori | 4/16/2013

    " Very moving memoir of a woman whose first child was stillborn; sad, of course, but beautifully written; thankfully that is not something I have gone through, but would recommend to a friend that has "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bruce Rodda | 11/28/2012

    " This was a great book. An unusual topic but very interesting. A story about a very sad event, a still born child, but told in a hopeful way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 10/22/2012

    " Beautiful book ... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 10/8/2012

    " I was expecting a bit more from this book based on other reviews I heard. I was expecting to both bawl and laugh out loud within the pages of this book. I found myself empathizing with her heartbreak and appreciating how simple my pregnancies were, but I was not drawn into her story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marie | 7/12/2012

    " A very moving and sad account of the loss of a baby, this book provides helpful reminders about how to be a good support system to someone dealing with immense loss. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johanna | 7/1/2012

    " A painful and rewarding read. Grief has a familiar face no matter what the cause of it. McCracken gives us a window into an impossible pain in a way that is both readable and digestable. Kudos to her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 4/6/2012

    " I loved this book. I needed this book. While reading this memoir about a woman who experienced a stillbirth during her 9th month of pregnancy I totally saw myself and was often thinking "Yes. That is so true. Somebody that actually knows." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 4/30/2011

    " Incredibly moving story of truth and survival. Each page of this short volume drew me into the author's experience and made me think. I feel like I'll go back to some passages many more times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 4/27/2011

    " I loved this book. McCracken is able to write about the devastating stillborn birth of her baby with such frankness, humor and beauty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Crystal | 4/21/2011

    " This was a wonderful memoir about the writer's experience with having a stillborn child. She has a brilliant way with words, and an eloquent way of putting grief into words. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Josh | 4/20/2011

    " ugh, had to force my way through this. was on the NPR You Must Read This series. First time they've let me down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 4/14/2011

    " haunting. A super likable author with a strong voice makes the difficult material very accessible and enjoyable to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 4/6/2011

    " This was a beautiful and painfully raw memoir by a gifted writer. I most appreciated how she taught me to interact with women who have delivered a stillborn child. She brilliantly describes her pain, with humor interwoven through each chapter. Highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Autumn | 3/21/2011

    " This is a really lovely touching memoir about loss and expectations. I found it very beautifully written, very honest and very sad as well. I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with grief of any kind. I'm very glad I read it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melody | 3/20/2011

    " Good book but had to be in the mood to read something this life shaking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 3/9/2011

    " 4 and a half stars. Wow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 3/8/2011

    " A friend bought me this book after I miscarried in January, and I've really enjoyed reading it. For anyone who has dealt with miscarriages or stillborns, I would recommend this book. It's just the right combination of humor, sorrow, and hope. Very therapeutic. "

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