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Extended Audio Sample Gabriel’s Story, by David Anthony Durham 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: David Anthony Durham Narrator: Thomas Penny Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Gabriel’s Story recounts the adventures and trials of a pioneer family in the late 1870s. At the center of the story is Gabriel, a young man who moves reluctantly from the urban North with his mother and younger brother to join his stepfather, a homesteader in Kansas.

While his mother and brother accept the reduced circumstances of their new life, Gabriel looks with loathing upon the primitive one-room sod house, the meager crops, and the endless fields of grass. Filled with memories of his deceased father and the dreams they shared, Gabriel decides to run away and become a cowboy. However, his search for excitement brings trouble and danger as he encounters a host of unsavory characters while testing himself against this brutally unforgiving new landscape.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Artistically impressive and emotionally satisfying, a serious work that heads off in exhilarating directions.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Wise and beautifully written.”

    USA Today

  • “Haunting…[with] masterful prose.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “A sensational debut…lush and atmospheric.”

    Essence

  • “Moving…The moral gravity of Durham’s narrative is offset by his attentiveness to the primacy of nature in the Western landscape.”

    New Yorker

  • “Sweeps the reader up into a fascinating, Oz-like whirlwind of language.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Durham captures with exquisite precision the isolation, loneliness, and cruelty of life in the vastness of the West…The reader turns the last page with regret at the journey’s end.”

    Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

  • “Compelling, suspenseful, and meticulously written, Gabriel’s Story is an exploration of the idea of the frontier and the meaning of ownership, filtered through the narrator’s cynical, over-the-hill teenage perspective. And Gabriel himself, who seems old beyond his years, is a memorable protagonist: a grouchy lost boy, impatient for his life to unfold.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “The old West, both beautiful and brutal, is the setting of Durham’s magnificently realized debut novel, a classic coming-of-age story of an African-American boy…Durham is a born storyteller…The tale’s racial dimension is subtly and intelligently developed, and though some readers may be turned off by the violence Gabriel witnesses, all will be impressed by Durham’s maturity, skill, and lovingly crafted prose.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Winner of the 2002 YALSA Alex Award
  • Winner of the 2002 BCALA Literary Award for First Novelist
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About the Author
Author David Anthony Durham

David Anthony Durham earned an MFA from the University of Maryland. His first novel, Gabriel’s Story, was published to wide acclaim in 2001. He has won several awards, including the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Fiction Award, a First Novel Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and a Legacy Award. His short fiction appears in Gumbo: An Anthology of African American Writing. He lives with his wife and two children California and teaches creative writing at Cal St. Fresno.