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Brass: A Novel Audiobook, by Xhenet Aliu Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Xhenet Aliu Narrator: Thérèse Plummer, Lauren Fortgang Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2018 ISBN: 9780525524557
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“A fierce, big-hearted, unflinching debut”* novel about mothers and daughters, haves and have-nots, and the stark realities behind the American Dream *Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere WINNER OF THE GEORGIA AUTHOR OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR FIRST NOVEL • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE AND REAL SIMPLE A waitress at the Betsy Ross Diner, Elsie hopes her nickel-and-dime tips will add up to a new life. Then she meets Bashkim, who is at once both worldly and naïve, a married man who left Albania to chase his dreams—and wound up working as a line cook in Waterbury, Connecticut. Back when the brass mills were still open, this bustling factory town drew one wave of immigrants after another. Now it’s the place they can’t seem to leave. Elsie, herself the granddaughter of Lithuanian immigrants, falls in love quickly, but when she learns that she’s pregnant, Elsie can’t help wondering where Bashkim’s heart really lies, and what he’ll do about the wife he left behind. Seventeen years later, headstrong and independent Luljeta receives a rejection letter from NYU and her first-ever suspension from school on the same day. Instead of striking out on her own in Manhattan, she’s stuck in Connecticut with her mother, Elsie—a fate she refuses to accept. Wondering if the key to her future is unlocking the secrets of the past, Lulu decides to find out what exactly her mother has been hiding about the father she never knew. As she soon discovers, the truth is closer than she ever imagined. Told in equally gripping parallel narratives with biting wit and grace, Brass announces a fearless new voice with a timely, tender, and quintessentially American story. Praise for Brass “Lustrous . . . a tale alive with humor and gumption, of the knotty, needy bond between a mother and daughter . . . [Brass] marks the arrival of a writer whose work will stand the test of time.”O: The Oprah Magazine “An exceptional debut novel, one that plumbs the notion of the American Dream while escaping the clichés that pursuit almost always brings with it . . . [Xhenet] Aliu delivers a living, breathing portrait of places left behind.”The Boston Globe “The writing blazes on the page. . . . So much about the book is also extraordinarily timely, especially when it focuses on class and culture, and what they really mean.”San Francisco Chronicle “Aliu is witty and unsparing in her depiction of the town and its inhabitants, illustrating the granular realities of the struggle for class mobility.”The New Yorker Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The dual narrations of Lauren Fortgang and Therese Plummer vividly depict both the down-on-its-luck town and its hardworking residents, including the Albanian immigrants who are attempting to reconcile their difficult past while forging a new life in America. Elsie’s narration is more nuanced, while Luljeta’s reflects her adolescent angst. Accents for the Albanian characters help to add dimension to this story of struggle and the search for belonging. Winner of rhw AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Xhenet Aliu is a writer whose debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, and Other Stories, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in Glimmer Train, The Barcelona Review, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and an MLIS from The University of Alabama. A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, she was born to an Albanian father and a Lithuanian American mother. She now lives in Athens, Georgia, and works as an academic librarian.

About the Narrators

Thérèse Plummer is an actor, award-winning voice-over artist, and counselor. She is a winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She has appeared in a variety of television and film roles. As a counselor for adolescents, she spent five years using drama therapy techniques in individual and group settings.

Lauren Fortgang, a graduate of Fordham University’s Theater Program, is an actress, costume designer, and narrator. She has recorded everything from video games to textbooks. Her audiobook narrations have earned AudioFile Earphones Awards and placed her as a finalist for an Audie Award in 2014.