Download Honeydew: Stories Audiobook

Honeydew: Stories Audiobook, by Edith Pearlman Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Edith Pearlman Narrator: Suzanne Toren Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2015 ISBN: 9781478930327
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A new story collection from the author of Binocular Vision, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the National Book Award.

Over the past several decades, Edith Pearlman has staked her claim as one of the great practitioners of the short story. Her incomparable vision, consummate skill, and bighearted spirit have earned her consistent comparisons to Anton Chekhov, John Updike, Alice Munro, Grace Paley, and Frank O’Connor. This latest collection of twenty new stories is an occasion for celebration.

Pearlman writes with warmth about the predicaments of being human. The title story involves an affair, an illegitimate pregnancy, anorexia, and adolescent drug use, but the true excitement comes from the evocation of the interior lives of young Emily Knapp, who wishes she were a bug, and her inner circle. “The Golden Swan” transports listeners to a cruise ship with lavish buffets—and a surprise stowaway—while the lead story, “Tenderfoot,” follows a widowed pedicurist searching for love with a new customer anguishing over his own buried trauma. Whether the characters we encounter are a special child with pentachromatic vision, a group of displaced Somali women adjusting to life in suburban Boston, or a staid professor of Latin unsettled by a random invitation to lecture on the mystery of life and death, Pearlman knows each of them intimately and reveals them with unsurpassed generosity.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Edith Pearlman is a contemporary master of the short story, with an utterly distinctive voice—tartly observant, unfailingly compassionate, slyly amused. Honeydew is a stellar collection, a wide-ranging examination of Pearlman’s favorite subjects—the mysteries of love and friendship, the indignities and compensations of growing older, and the knotty complexities of the human heart.”

    Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of The Leftovers

  • “To read an Edith Pearlman story is to sense a mysterious voice singing just under the surface of the prose; it is to be so beguiled by elegance and wit that the inexorable surging power of the story astonishes when it finally hits the reader. Honeydew is brilliant. Edith Pearlman is among the greatest of the greats.”

    Lauren Groff, New York Times bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton

  • “A generous collection of depth and sensitivity featuring a range of unusual characters.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “There remain a few dedicated practitioners of the short story, and Edith Pearlman is one to be cherished…The twenty stories [in Honeydew] are vinegary, rueful, droll, humane, and endlessly inquisitive. Though intricately constructed, they are slight in drama and emphasis, set down like a light footprint that nevertheless fixes itself in one’s memory as though pressed in wet cement.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Pearlman’s majestic, fleet-footed new collection is…cause for celebration. The stories in Honeydew excel at capturing the complex and surprising turns in seemingly ordinary lives.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Prepare to be dazzled. Edith Pearlman’s latest, elating work confirms her place as one of the great modern short-story writers…Vivacity and zest enliven every page. Body language is wittily caught…Personalities are keenly explored. Honeydew elatingly continues the celebration of life’s diversity to which Binocular Vision so excitingly introduced us.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Edith Pearlman’s short stories have often been compared with John Updike’s, and the comparison is apt…All of the powerful emotions are depicted in rich, controlled prose, one of the earmarks of a Pearlman story. Whether it be for carefully dissecting her characters’ feelings or observing tiny details, Pearlman reveals her acute eye time and time again…In the tradition of Joyce, Chekhov, Updike, and Munro, Pearlman’s surprising, memorable stories are joys to behold.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “This affecting collection periscopes into small lives, expanding them with stunning subtlety…Magical…Sensual.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Pearlman not only writes with bewitching clarity, she also fathoms much about our inner lives and relationships that is unexpectedly wondrous.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Pearlman returns with another collection of closely observed, often devastating stories… [She] writes with the wisdom of accumulated experience…Pearlman fills volumes with her economy of language…[and] serves up exemplary tales, lively and lovely.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Edith Pearlman, the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award winner for Binocular Vision, offers another collection of painfully succinct observations of the ordinary events and people who find themselves under her microscope. Pearlman’s economy of language creates imagistic prose that feels like poetry. It’s especially effective on audio, thanks to Suzanne Toren’s artistry…She creates credible, complicated characters—from Somali refugees in Boston to a stowaway on a cruise ship. The cast is large and memorable, the stories piercing and perceptive, and Toren’s performance puts a unique stamp on each remarkable piece. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • An Oprah Pick of Ten Titles to Pick Up Now
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A National Book Award Longlist Selection
  • A NPR’s Great Reads Selection of 2015
  • A Carnegie Medal for Literature Longlist Selection
  • A Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015 Selection for Story Collections
  • A Washington Post Best Audiobook of 2015
  • A 2015 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

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About the Author

Edith Pearlman's last collection, Binocular Vision, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is also the author of the much-lauded collections Vaquita, Love Among the Greats, and How to Fall. A New Englander by both birth and preference, Pearlman lives with her husband in Brookline, Massachusetts.

About the Narrator

Suzanne Toren, award-winning narrator, has over thirty years of experience in narration. She was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine in 2019. She has won the American Foundation for the Blind’s Scourby Award for Narrator of the Year, AudioFile magazine named her the 2009 Best Voice in Nonfiction & Culture, and she is the recipient of multiple Earphones Awards. She performs on and off Broadway and in regional theaters and has appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas.