Download Can You Tolerate This?: Essays Audiobook

Can You Tolerate This?: Essays Audiobook, by Ashleigh Young Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Ashleigh Young Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2018 ISBN: 9780525626183
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A dazzling—and already prizewinning—collection of essays on youth and aging, ambition and disappointment, Katherine Mansfield tourism and New Zealand punk rock, and the limitations of the body. Youth and frailty, ambition and anxiety, the limitations of the body and the challenges of personal transformation: these are the undercurrents that animate acclaimed poet Ashleigh Young's first collection of essays. In Can You Tolerate This?—the title comes from the question chiropractors ask to test a patient's pain threshold—Young ushers us into her early years in the faraway yet familiar landscape of New Zealand: fantasizing about Paul McCartney, cheering on her older brother's fledging music career, and yearning for a larger and more creative life. As Young's perspective expands, a series of historical portraits—a boy who grew new bone wherever he was injured, an early French postman who built a stone fortress by hand, a generation of Japanese shut-ins—strike unexpected personal harmonies, as an unselfconscious childhood gives way to painful shyness in adolescence. As we watch Young fall in and out of love, undertake an intense yoga practice that masks an eating disorder, and gradually find herself through her writing, a highly particular psyche comes into view: curious, tender, and exacting in her observations of herself and the world around her. Can You Tolerate This? presents a vivid self-portrait of an introspective yet widely curious young woman, the colorful, isolated community in which she comes of age, and the uneasy tensions—between safety and risk, love and solitude, the catharsis of grief and the ecstasy of creation—that define our lives. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Narrator Saskia Maarleveld is the perfect guide to the author’s contemplation of both significant and smaller moments in her life…Maarleveld’s narration is clear, deliberate, and droll…Harmony of text and voice comes into perfect focus with Maarleveld’s New Zealand accent and Young’s descriptions of her hometown landscape in Te Kuiti, New Zealand. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “Cool, ambivalent pieces about human limits and the monstrousness and beauty to be found both within and beyond them.”

    New Yorker

  • “An edgy, vibrant portrait of electricity in language and the body in crisis…She sees to the marrow of our humanity with a kind of MRI vision..”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “The intimacy of her stories creates a connection, making even a foreign place feel like home.”

    Washington Post

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Ashleigh Young is the author of the award-winning essay collection Can You Tolerate This? as well as a critically acclaimed book of poetry, Magni?cent Moon. The recipient of a 2017 Windham Campbell Prize in Nonfiction and an Ockham Award, among other honors, she is an editor at Victoria University Press and teaches creative writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters.

About the Narrator

Saskia Maarleveld is an experienced voice-over actress and Earphones Award–winning narrator. Raised in New Zealand and France, she is highly skilled with accents and dialects, and many of her books have been narrated entirely in accents other than her own. In addition to audiobooks, her voice can be heard in animation, video games, and commercials.