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Extended Audio Sample Death Is Not an Option: Stories Audiobook, by Suzanne Rivecca Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (315 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Suzanne Rivecca Narrator: Rachel Botchan, Jennifer Ikeda Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2015 ISBN: 9781464028984
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Pushcart Prize winner Suzanne Rivecca quickly made a name for herself as a talented new voice in the literary world. Praised as “gripping, distinctive, and altogether impressive” (Booklist), Rivecca’s debut short story collection Death Is Not an Option will captivate listeners with its raw and insightful tales featuring young women grappling with life’s many uncertainties.

In these stories, a teacher obsesses over a student who comes to class with scratch marks on his face; a Catholic girl graduating high school finds a warped kind of redemption in her school’s contrived class rituals; and a woman looking to rent a house is sucked into a strangely inappropriate correspondence with one of the landlords. These are just a few of the powerful plotlines in Suzanne Rivecca’s gorgeously wrought collection. From a college student who adopts a false hippie persona to find love to a young memoirist who bumps up against a sexually obsessed fan, the characters in these fiercely original tales grapple with what it means to be honest with themselves and the world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Suzanne Rivecca is a wonderfully lively and fearless new writer. I greatly admired the stories in Death Is Not an Option.”

    Lorrie Moore, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Recalls early Gaitskill in its stark depiction of girls who lost their innocence long before they knew it was theirs to lose.”

    Vogue

  • “Ferociously intelligent…Rivecca populates her stories with imperfect, acutely drawn characters, which is a rare pleasure, simply because her approximations are so believable.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “[Rivecca’s] talent allows her to impressively flex the muscle of fiction, making us keep our attention where it belongs—on these bracing stories promising a fine career.”

    NPR

  • “Refreshing tales, laced with bitter humor and nineties pop- culture references.”

    Elle

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Meagan | 2/11/2014

    " I only read the first two chapters but I feel like I need to wash my brain out. Why does every new-hot-book dwell so much on sex and debasing moral values? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bethany | 2/7/2014

    " These stories seem raw and screaming underneath their sometimes sassy or disassociated narration. They have that need to make the reader look at Michigan, middle class mainstream victimization of women and the pain caused by Catholicism and other topics in their real habitats --topics that we don't always look in the eye quite like this -- that is more typical of young writers. I don't mean this as a dismissal -- this third rail of emotion is often lost as writers age, and I crave the electrification. She comes close to being snarky but leaves it to her teen characters masterfully. I'm really interested to see what she does next. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elliott | 2/5/2014

    " Astonishingly good. These stories knocked my socks off. Fierce and funny and unafraid to go deep. The characters here are vivid and unforgettable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa | 2/5/2014

    " This was one of those rare books where I read it once & then wanted to begin again once I had finish. Brilliantly sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiffany | 1/15/2014

    " I don't usually like short stories, but this book was definitely a good read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul | 12/31/2013

    " These are good, well written stories, but altogether, they're much more suited to a female audience. There are things I didn't know in here. Things I had no desire to know. Things that will stay with me to the day I die. I don't want to talk about it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ciara | 12/28/2013

    " LOVED this short story collection. just read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayla Bassham | 12/27/2013

    " More like 4 1/2 stars. Some of the stories in this collection are really stellar, and I really like the way Rivecca writes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel Watkins | 12/3/2013

    " Every single story in this collection disturbed me in a different way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kaia | 11/7/2013

    " These short stories are all honest, heart-wrenching, and amazing. I couldn't stop reading until this book was over. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janice Crespo | 9/23/2013

    " Definitely a book to make you think and takes your through some, possible, unpleasant situations, to see how things in the real world are, unfortunately. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rae Gande | 6/24/2013

    " One of THE BEST COLLECTIONS of short stories ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennie | 6/10/2013

    " I just started this collection of short stories & I'm really enjoying the author's crass humor. The first story is about a Catholic school girl on her senior year retreat... boy does it ring a bell! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ellen | 4/28/2013

    " I forget how much I really like well written short stories. They keep me enthralled but also know when to end. This author is particularly good at finishing the stories so that you feel satisfied with the ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reneesarah | 4/6/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book a lot. The writing was clear and deep. I was all the more interested since the author lives in San Francisco and has worked in social services. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sunil Chopade | 3/10/2013

    " The collection starts out strong with the pitch-perfect tone of the eponymous first story, but the remainder of the book never achieved that kind of voice again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita Boissonneault | 3/6/2013

    " Loved this book! Didn't really want to read it at first but loved the short stories and it was a fast read. One night. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ilona | 9/27/2012

    " Is there some rule that says short stories must be bleak tales of futility? Is there? I've been trying for decades to learn to enjoy the genre, but good GOD, so many of them are tedious tales of awful, awful people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gemma | 9/1/2012

    " The woman knows how to hit the nail on the head. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 8/21/2012

    " Some of the best short stories I've evr read "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emylie | 6/12/2012

    " She is a strong writer-I just prefer happier subject matter. "

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About the Author
Author Suzanne Rivecca

Suzanne Rivecca was raised in West Michigan. Her first book, Death Is Not an Option, was a finalist for the Story Prize, the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She is the recipient of the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and writing fellowships from Stanford University, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her short stories have received two Pushcart Prizes and have been included in The Best American Short Stories 2013.

About the Narrators

Rachel Botchan holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a member of the Pearl Theater Company in New York. She and her husband live in New York City.

Jennifer Ikeda has been narrating audiobooks since 2002. Among her readings are When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park; Just Listen by Sarah Dessen; and After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away by Joyce Carol Oates.