Download I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir Audiobook

Im Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir Audiobook, by Nadja Spiegelman Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Nadja Spiegelman Narrator: Nadja Spiegelman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2016 ISBN: 9780735205581
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A Vogue Best Book of the Year

"What Ferrante did for female friends—exploring the tumult and complexity their relationships could hold—Spiegelman sets out to do for mothers and daughters. She’s essentially written My Brilliant Mom." —Slate 

A memoir of mothers and daughters—and mothers as daughters—traced through four generations, from Paris to New York and back again.  

For a long time, Nadja Spiegelman believed her mother was a fairy. More than her famous father, Maus creator Art Spiegelman, and even more than most mothers, hers—French-born New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly—exerted a force over reality that was both dazzling and daunting. As Nadja’s body changed and “began to whisper to the adults around me in a language I did not understand,” their relationship grew tense. Unwittingly, they were replaying a drama from her mother’s past, a drama Nadja sensed but had never been told. Then, after college, her mother suddenly opened up to her. Françoise recounted her turbulent adolescence caught between a volatile mother and a playboy father, one of the first plastic surgeons in France. The weight of the difficult stories she told her daughter shifted the balance between them. 
                It had taken an ocean to allow Françoise the distance to become her own person. At about the same age, Nadja made the journey in reverse, moving to Paris determined to get to know the woman her mother had fled.  Her grandmother’s memories contradicted her mother’s at nearly every turn, but beneath them lay a difficult history of her own. Nadja emerged with a deeper understanding of how each generation reshapes the past in order to forge ahead, their narratives both weapon and defense, eternally in conflict. Every reader will recognize herself and her family in I'm Supposed to Protect You From All This, a gorgeous and heartbreaking memoir that helps us to see why sometimes those who love us best hurt us most. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This memoir of intertwined generations of fraught mother-daughter relationships is an absolute pleasure to listen to. Nadja Spiegelman’s performance is thoughtful and charming regardless of whether she’s recounting a part of the story that is dark with cruelty and neglect or a part dazzling with joyful confidence…Spiegelman’s lovely voice conveys empathy, self-awareness, and curiosity, and she flawlessly shifts back and forth from French to English.”


  • “Unexpected symmetries between the generations, as well as the inevitable insults and pains, make this artful memoir feel like the story of every family.”

    Sheila Heti, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Poetic and powerful.”


  • “Piercingly honest and uncommonly generous, allowing space for the vagaries of memory and different generational spins.”


  • “A beautiful, insightful read.”

    Travel + Leisure magazine

  • “[A} penetrating and thoroughly compelling memoir.”


  • “Stunning and artistic…[a] touching, surprising consideration of the unclear inheritances of family, and the certain fallibility of memory.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick for August 2016 
  • A BookPage Top Pick for August 2016
  • Travel+Leisure Magazine Pick
  • A New York Magazine Top 10 Books for Summer
  • New York Times Pick of Best Paperbacks Out This Week

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About the Author

Nadja Spiegelman grew up in New York City and now divides her time between Paris and Brooklyn.