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Autobiography of Us: A Novel Audiobook, by Aria Beth Sloss Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Aria Beth Sloss Narrator: Kathe Mazur Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781504627658
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A gripping debut novel about friendship, loss, and love—a confession of what passed between two women who met as girls

Coming of age in the patrician neighborhood of Pasadena, California, during the 1960s, Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex dream of lives beyond their mothers’ narrow expectations. Their struggle to define themselves against the backdrop of an American cultural revolution unites them early on, until one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college, when a single act of betrayal changes everything. Decades later, Rebecca’s haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her.

Autobiography of Us is an achingly beautiful portrait of a decades-long bond. A rare and powerful glimpse into the lives of two women caught between repression and revolution, it casts new light on the sacrifices, struggles, victories, and defeats of a generation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In Autobiography of Us, Sloss captures not only the lives of two passionate and intelligent women but that very particular moment in American history when expectations about women and families were beginning to change—I felt Alex and Rebecca’s pains and pleasures as my own. A beautifully written and utterly captivating novel.”

    Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An impressive psychological drama, Sloss’ first novel aptly brings to the fore the social issues that uniquely challenge her heroine.”


  • “Book clubs may find much to discuss regarding women's friendships, social class, and changes in women's options as a result of the feminist movement.”

    Library Journal

  • “Some friendships are fated, not chosen. Aria Beth Sloss’ gorgeous first novel deftly and richly exposes the lasting hope as well as the inevitable wounds that come from great love. Raw and vital, Autobiography of Us leaves us marveling at the strange, beautiful architecture of redemption.”

    Maggie Shipstead, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A masterly portrait of the lives of two indelible characters…Aria Beth Sloss’ fiercely imagined Autobiography of Us is a wrenching, provocative story of thwarted friendship, ambition, and love. It marks a stunning debut from a bold new talent.”

    Kate Walbert, New York Times bestselling author

  • “With surprising ease, the book plays out the friends’ complicated dynamic against a tableau of enormous changes for women, resulting in a potent story of altered expectations and thwarted dreams…A book that gains momentum with each new choice and crisis…[Autobiography of Us] blossoms in stirring and surprising ways.”

    New York Times

  • “[A] delicate, bittersweet story.”

    USA Today

  • “[A] sharply imagined debut…Sloss writes with assured grace, capturing the conflicted sensibilities of a generation of women.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Spanning three decades, this engaging novel explores the loves, losses, and shifting friendship of two privileged Southern California girls.”


  • “Aria Beth Sloss’ powerful novel flashes back to the ’60s, when young women’s choices seemed limited and female friendships were fragile life-lines. You’ll find this story both moving and engrossing.”


  • “Every female friendship has a script of its own. The one playing out in this debut novel is a gripping hybrid—Beaches crossed with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”

    More magazine

  • “A smooth first-person narrative…The story’s hopeful end is tempered with the realization that, had the central characters been born a generation later, maybe their lives would have been better.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Captivating, engrossing, surprising…Sloss’ debut novel sweeps across the tumultuous events of the late 1950s through the 1980s and…celebrates the terrible struggle to find one’s identity as it elegiacally rues the necessary losses.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “At its heart, the novel is a tragic elegy to spirited women in decades past who were forced to silence their dreams and desires, and whose lives were not what they might otherwise have been.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “A fiercely intelligent and captivating debut and an intimate portrait of female friendship, Autobiography of Us illuminates the challenges faced by an entire generation of American women.”

    Jennifer Vanderbes, author of Easter Island and Strangers at the Feast

  • “In Aria Beth Sloss’ marvelous debut novel, the passage of time brings love and pain and friendship, then reverses them all—a brilliant chronicle of women’s lives in America.”

    Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli

  • “A heartrending novel of two girls, the women they become, and the bond they forge that endures into the next generation. Aria Beth Sloss has written a lyrical and deeply moving love letter to the power of friendship.”

    Ellen Feldman, author of Lucy and Next to Love

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2013

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About the Author

Aria Beth Sloss is a graduate of Yale and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Iowa Arts Foundation, the Yaddo Corporation, and the Vermont Studio Center, and her writing has appeared in Glimmer Train, the Harvard Review, and online at the Paris Review and FiveChapters. She lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Kathe Mazur has narrated many audiobooks, winning the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2014, being named a finalist for the Audie Award in 2013 and 2015, and winning several AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she can be seen as DDA Hobbs on The Closer and in the upcoming Major Crimes. She has worked extensively in film, theater, and television, including appearances on Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, House, Brothers and Sisters, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, ER, Monk, and many others.