Improvement Audiobook, by Joan Silber Play Audiobook Sample

Improvement Audiobook

Improvement Audiobook, by Joan Silber Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Cassandra Campbell, Adenrele Ojo, Hillary Huber, R. C. Bray, Ramiz Monsef, Kate Reading, various narrators Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 4.00 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.00 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: November 2017 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9781538473795

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

52:27 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

32:23 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

45:22 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Joan Silber: > View All...

Publisher Description

One of our most gifted writers of fiction returns with a bold and piercing novel about a young single mother living in New York, her eccentric aunt, and the decisions they make that have unexpected implications for the world around them.

Reyna knows her relationship with Boyd isn’t perfect; yet she sees him through a three-month stint at Riker’s Island, their bond growing tighter. Kiki, now settled in the East Village after a youth that took her to Turkey and other far-off places—and loves—around the world, admires her niece’s spirit but worries that motherhood to four-year-old Oliver might complicate a difficult situation. Little does she know that Boyd is pulling Reyna into a smuggling scheme across state lines, violating his probation. When Reyna takes a step back, her small act of resistance sets into motion a tapestry of events that affect the lives of loved ones and strangers around them.

A novel that examines conviction, connection, repayment, and the possibility of generosity in the face of loss, Improvement is as intricately woven together as Kiki’s beloved Turkish rugs, as colorful as the tattoos decorating Reyna’s body, with narrative twists and turns as surprising and unexpected as the lives all around us.

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“Silber’s quietly brilliant novel Improvement weaves an intricate, zigzagging pattern out of the lives of a dozen people, and six well-chosen narrators provide the voices… The multiplicity of voices in this production gives a wonderful aural dimension to the weave of inadvertently interlocked lives.”

— Washington Post (audio review) 


  • “Six narrators turn a mix of nationalities and genders into a masterful listening experience…The talented narrators switch between various points of view as the listener gets another piece of the puzzle…Each new voice holds the listener’s interest throughout.”

    — AudioFile
  • “Improvement is so crisp and resonant a novel that it made me forget the chaos of life around me.”

    — Lauren Groff, New York Times bestselling author
  • “This is a novel of richness and wisdom and huge pleasure…[A] perfectly balanced mix of celebration and wryness.”

    — New York Times
  • “[Silver is] a master of the compression and dilation of time, what time and nothing else can reveal to people about themselves.”

    — Washington Post
  • “A yarn about interconnectedness spanning countries, people, and decades…and how differently characters deal with the curve balls life throws at them.”

    — Chicago Review of Books
  • “Explores big questions with subtlety, humor, and compassion. Improvement is an everyday masterpiece.”

    — Newsday
  • “Silber’s extraordinary new novel…is kaleidoscopic as it spans decades and stretches from New York to Berlin and Turkey…She raises questions about fate and chance, power and redemption, and, finally, the universal need for connection.”

    — National Book Review
  • “Her diverse cast of characters never feel anything but authentic, and her prose is both precise on the sentence level and masterly in structure.”

  • “There is something so refreshing and genuine about this book, coming partly from the bumpy weave of its unpredictable story and partly from its sharply turned yet refreshingly unmannered prose. A winner.”

    — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • “The subtle ripple effects of individual choices and actions are eloquently portrayed through Silber’s penetrating eye in this elegant and thought-provoking novel.”

    — Library Journal
  • “Silber’s decision to write events of great magnitude from everyday points of view lends realism and universality to her story.”

    — Booklist
  • “Silber delivers a whirlwind narrative reminiscent of her compact story collections in novel form.”

    — Publishers Weekly
  • “Silber masterfully pulls together the threads of lives in places as remote as rural Turkey and as common and close as New York City like a finely made Persian rug.”

    — American Booksellers Association
  • “Explores love and ambition and the way it entangles, wounds, transforms vibrant characters…a magnificent work about the complexity of human connection, full of remarkable insight and compassion.”

    — Karen E. Bender, author of Refund


  • An Indie Next List selection
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2017
  • A Washington Post Notable Book for 2017
  • A Washington Post Best Audiobook of December 2017
  • One of Newsday’s Favorite Books of the Year
  • Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
  • Winner of the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
  • A Pick of Best New Paperbacks Out This Month
  • A New York Times Book Review Pick from Paperback Row
  • A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2018

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About Joan Silber

Joan Silber is the author of the story collection Fools, which was long-listed for the National Book Award and nominated for the PEN/Faulker Award. Her first novel, Household Words, won the PEN/Hemingway Award. She has published five other books of fiction, including Ideas of Heaven: A Ring of Stories, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize, and The Size of the World, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Prize in Fiction and one of the Seattle Times’ 10 Best Books of Fiction. Her work has appeared in the Paris Review, the New Yorker, Agni, Ploughshares, Boulevard, and Epoch, among other publications.

About the Narrators

Cassandra Campbell has won multiple Audie Awards, Earphones Awards, and the prestigious Odyssey Award for narration. She was been named a “Best Voice” by AudioFile magazine and in 2018 was inducted in Audible’s inaugural Narrator Hall of Fame.

Adenrele Ojo is an actress, dancer, and audiobook narrator, winner of over a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2018. She made her on-screen debut in My Little Girl, starring Jennifer Lopez, and has since starred in several other films. She has also performed extensively with the Philadelphia Dance Company. As the daughter of John E. Allen, Jr., founder and artistic director of Freedom Theatre, the oldest African American theater in Pennsylvania, is no stranger to the stage. In 2010 she performed in the Fountain Theatre’s production of The Ballad of Emmett Till, which won the 2010 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Ensemble. Other plays include August Wilson’s Jitney and Freedom Theatre’s own Black Nativity, where she played Mary.

Hillary Huber, a Los Angeles–based voice talent with hundreds of commercials and promos under her belt, was bitten by the audiobook bug in 2005. She now records books on a regular basis and has been nominated for several Audie Awards and won numerous Earphones Awards.

R. C. Bray is an award-winning audiobook narrator with over 180 titles to his credit. Besides winning five AudioFile Earphones Awards, he won the prestigious Audie Award in 2015 for Best Science Fiction Narration and has been an Audie Award finalist seven times. He has been a finalist for the Voice Arts Award, and in 2014, his narration earned a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award. He is also an accomplished producer and voice-over artist, and his voice can be heard in countless TV and radio commercials.

Ramiz Monsef has spent several seasons as a member of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s acting company, and he is the playwright of OSF’s 2013 production The Unfortunates. He has also appeared onstage in New York and in numerous regional productions.

Kate Reading has recorded hundreds of audiobooks across many genres, over a thirty year plus career. Audie Awards: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (mystery), Breasts (non-fiction), Bellwether (fiction), and Words of Radiance (fantasy). Among other awards, she has been recognized with: the ALA Booklist best of 2019 for Bowlaway (fiction), AudioFile Magazine Voice of the Century, Earphones Awards, Narrator of the Year, Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Publisher’s Weekly’s Listen-Up Award. She records at her home studio, Madison Productions, Inc., in Maryland.

Leon Nixon is a professional actor, playwright, and filmmaker. A Los Angeles native, he has performed in short films, web series, and on stage in dramatic and comedic roles. He is also an improviser and part of the group that appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for Longest Continuous Improv Show.