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Extended Audio Sample Makeda Audiobook, by Randall Robinson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (85 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Randall Robinson Narrator: Kevin R. Free Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781464044786
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Makeda Gee Florida Harris March is a proud matriarch, the anchor and emotional bellwether who holds together a hard-working African American family living in 1950s Richmond, Virginia. Lost in shadow is Makeda’s grandson Gray, who begins escaping into the magical world of Makeda’s tiny parlor.

Makeda, a woman blind since birth but who has always dreamed in color, begins to confide in Gray the things she “sees” and remembers from her dream state, and a story emerges that is layered with historical accuracy beyond the scope of Makeda’s limited education.

Part coming-of-age story, part spiritual journey, and part love story, Makeda is a universal tale of family, heritage, and the ties that bind. Randall Robinson plumbs the hearts of Makeda and Gray and summons our collective blood memories, taking the reader on an unforgettable journey of the soul that will linger long after the last page has been turned.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hypnotic…One of the finest novels this year…[Robinson] is a gifted storyteller.”


  • Makeda is beyond ambitious and imaginative…well written and powerful, with an ending that is equal parts tragic and romantic in nature…a breathtaking revelation, weighted with romance and lovely passionate prose.”

    New York Journal of Books

  • “Robinson is not only exploring what it means to be black. His theme of knowing the past before planning the future applies to all cultures, all people. Pick up this odyssey of family drama, history and love, and be prepared to consider your own beginnings.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Eloquent and erudite, Robinson’s oft-times mystical coming-of-age saga teems with rich and evocative historical insights.”


Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tamara Sam | 1/14/2014

    " The grandmother's story was interesting, but the rest of the book wasn't captivating. I fell asleep on the audiobook several times lol. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita | 12/1/2013

    " Wonderful story of a Grandmother that dreams of her African previous lives and her grandson, who wants so much to prove she is certain of her past lives. I enjoyed the story, some parts a little too wordy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 8/26/2013

    " Great story but the writing was pretentious. The author felt the need to use difficult vocabulary. I loved the central character Makeda and her many lives. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana Wilk | 7/16/2013

    " One of the most interesting books I've read in a long time. I thought this book contained so many moments of gorgeous clarity and insight. This is the kind of book that I long to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nandi Crawford | 5/7/2013

    " Though it was slow going, I got truly caught up in this book and the message as I got more into it. personally, it deserves the five and then more stars it got by me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda Ullah | 4/11/2013

    " Fascinating. Interesting. Thought-provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shauntrice M | 3/16/2013

    " This book was a pretty good mix of fiction and fact. The author seemed to "time hop" a bit too much, and I found myself trying to figure out which century or year he was in. I also felt that he could have been a bit more detailed in some parts of the book. Other than that, it's a nice book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pamster | 2/13/2013

    " Really liked the primary relationship, protag and grandmother, but not into his writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darlyne Baugh | 12/29/2012

    " Beautifully written. A good reminder of our "forgetfulness" in the face of progress and ambition. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy | 11/17/2012

    " A good premise for a novel, but way too wordy and detailed. The author comes across as an intellectual English major on steroids!! Got better at the end, but not enough to justify a higher rating. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa Andrews | 10/5/2012

    " I didn't finish this in time for our book club meeting and discovered that most of us hadn't! :-). We asked the one girl who did to tell us about how it ended, and I wasn't impressed. Other things to read. Like this month's book! :-) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Antigo Martin-Delaney | 8/10/2012

    " Mr. Robinson's first attempt at fiction. The ideas behind the story are great, but he needs to work on character development and voice. Really wanted more backstory on Makeda and the parents. I will read Mr Robinson's next attempt at fiction. He is an excellent nonfiction writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy Walker | 7/15/2012

    " I liked the subject, I liked the two main characters, but I didn't care for Mr. Robinsons writing style. "

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About the Author

Randall Robinson is the author of Makeda, An Unbroken Agony, and the national bestsellers The Debt, The Reckoning, Quitting America, and Defending the Spirit, as well as the novel The Emancipation of Wakefield Clay. He is a professor of law at Penn State Law School and is the creator, coproducer, and host of the public television human rights series World on Trial. Robinson lives with his wife Hazel in St. Kitts, West Indies.

About the Narrator

Kevin R. Free is an audiobook narrator and winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award. Known for his work with young-adult novels, he has read titles by Rick Riordan, Walter Dean Myers, and Joe Haldeman. In 2011 he was named a Best Voice in Young Adult and Fantasy from AudioFile magazine for his narration of Myers’ The Cruisers: Checkmate.