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Extended Audio Sample Freud’s Sister: A Novel, by Goce Smilevski 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: Goce Smilevski Narrator: Barbara Rosenbla Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Sigmund Freud is one of the best known figures in history, but what do we know about his sisters? 

With the Nazis closing in, Sigmund Freud is granted an exit visa and is allowed to list the names of people to take with him. He lists his doctor and maids, his dog, and his wife’s sister—but not any of his own. The four Freud sisters are shuttled to the Terezín concentration camp, while their brother lives out his last days in London. 

Based on a true story, this searing novel gives haunting voice to Freud’s sister Adolfina—“the sweetest and best of my sisters”—a gifted, sensitive woman who was spurned by her mother and never married. A witness to her brother’s genius and to the cultural and artistic splendor of Vienna in the early twentieth century, she aspired to a life few women of her time could attain.

With astonishing insight and deep feeling, Freud’s Sister imagines the life of a woman lost to the shadows of history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] gem of a book…Smilevski beautifully juxtaposes Freud’s scientific studies of mental illness with Adolfina’s own beliefs regarding the beauty of madness…establishing a provocative discourse on sanity and perception…Adolfina’s story is deeply moving, and Smilevski’s approach to her final moments is unforgettable.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Provocative…The result is an unflinching gaze at love, death, sex, hatred, depression, and madness…Smilevski has flashes of insight and creates memorable images of despair. Like Freud’s work, Adolfina’s story reaches past its moment in history in an attempt to uncover greater universal truths about the darker side of human nature.”


  • “Rich, varied, and complex…A novel of high intellect, enthusiastically recommended for smart readers everywhere and anyone interested in the father of psychoanalysis.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Superb…provocative and poignant…a sensitive portrayal and well-crafted debut.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A vivid, bracing work of fiction—one of those rare novels that does more than simply bring history to life. It gives life to facts, and shimmers with a kind of actual reality that seems truer than life itself.”

    Jay Parini, author of The Last Station

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