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Extended Audio Sample Battleborn Audiobook, by Claire Vaye Watkins Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Claire Vaye Watkins Narrator: Ali Ahn, Morgan Hallett, Mozhan Marnò, Laura Knight Keating, Kevin Orton, T. Ryder Smith, Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2014 ISBN: 9781470379674
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Like the work of Cormac McCarthy, Denis Johnson, Richard Ford, and Annie Proulx, Battleborn represents a near-perfect confluence of sensibility and setting, and the introduction of an exceptionally powerful and original literary voice. In each of these ten unforgettable stories, Claire Vaye Watkins writes her way fearlessly into the mythology of the American West, utterly reimagining it. Her characters orbit around the region’s vast spaces, winning redemption despite—and often because of—the hardship and violence they endure. The arrival of a foreigner transforms the exchange of eroticism and emotion at a prostitution ranch. A prospecting hermit discovers the limits of his rugged individualism when he tries to rescue an abused teenager. Decades after she led her best friend into a degrading encounter in a Vegas hotel room, a woman feels the aftershock. Most bravely of all, Watkins takes on—and reinvents—her own troubled legacy in a story that emerges from the mayhem and destruction of Helter Skelter. From the sweeping and sublime to the minute and personal, from Gold Rush to ghost town to desert to brothel, the collection echoes not only in its title but also in its fierce, undefeated spirit the motto of her home state.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This evocative collection of short stories draws deep on the mythos of the Southwest. The shame, isolation, and violence of Watkins’ beautifully rendered characters match perfectly the grievous landscapes in which they are set…Essential listening for Western fans, especially those who enjoy literary fiction, but very enjoyable for others, too.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

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About the Author
Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of Battleborn and recipient of the Story Prize, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim, among other honors. Battleborn was named a Best Book of 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Time Out New York and Flavorwire, and a Best Short Story Collection by NPR.org. In 2012, the National Book Foundation named Claire one of the 5 Best Writers Under 35. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Best of the West 2011, Best of the Southwest 2013, and elsewhere. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno and the Ohio State University, Claire has received fellowships from the Writers’ Conferences at Sewanee and Bread Loaf. An assistant professor at Bucknell University, Claire is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.
About the Narrators

Ali Ahn is a film, television, and voice actor. Her acting credits include appearances on Law & Order, Ugly Betty, White Collar, and Zero Hour. She has also narrated numerous audio books, such as Honolulu by Alan Brennert, This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen, Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas, and Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart.

Morgan Hallett is an actress known for her roles in the films Population 436, Perfectly Normal, and The Reader. Also an accomplished narrator, she has read numerous titles for Recorded Books, including Elizabeth Camden’s Into the Whirlwind and Amanda Ashley’s As Twilight Falls.

Mozhan Marnò is an Iranian American film and television actress, most notably appearing in Charlie Wilson’s War and Bones. Her audiobook narration has earned her four AudioFile Earphones Awards.

Laura Knight Keating is an actress who has appeared on stage, in films, and on television shows including Boardwalk Empire, Hope and Faith, and Lipstick Jungle.

Kevin Orton is a musician, composer, and actor. He performed in the 1999 Broadway revival of Amadeus and has appeared in numerous other New York and regional theater productions, as well as on television and in film. As a musician, he is most noted for composing and performing original music in the Tony Award–winning production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

T. Ryder Smith is an actor based in New York City. He has appeared on Broadway in Equus and in many off-Broadway shows including Passion Play, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and Lebensraum, for which he won a Drama Desk Award. Smith has also made numerous television appearances on series such as Nurse Jackie, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: SVU, and others.

Tom Stechschulte has narrated well over a hundred audiobooks and has won sixteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2009 and has been a finalist for the Audie in 2005 and 2011. As an actor, he has been seen in eleven Broadway shows as well as numerous television and film shows, including the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.