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Nuclear Family: A Tragicomic Novel in Letters Audiobook, by Susanna Fogel Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
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From filmmaker and New Yorker contributor Susanna Fogel comes a comedic novel about a fractured family of New England Jews and their discontents. Told entirely in letters to a heroine we never meet, we get to know the Fellers through their check-ins with Julie over the course of three decades: their thank-you notes, letters of condolence, family gossip, and good old-fashioned familial passive-aggression.

Together, their missives—some sardonic, others absurd, others heartbreaking—weave a tapestry of a very modern family trying (and often failing) to show one another they care.

The titular “nuclear family” includes, among many others, a narcissistic former-child-prodigy father who has taken up haiku writing in his old age and his new wife, a traditional Chinese woman whose attempts to help her stepdaughter find a man include FedExing her silk gowns from Filene’s Basement; their six-year-old son, Stuart, whose favorite condiment is truffle oil and who wears suits to bed; and Julie’s mother, a psychologist who never remarried but may be in love with her arrogant Rabbi and overshares about everything, including the threesome she had with Dutch grad students in 1972.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fogel’s novel offers plenty of glimpses—both humorous and endearing—into the life of a single woman with a well-meaning, if clueless, family.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Fogel’s spirited tale offers well-won moments of levity and understanding.”

    Booklist

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About the Author

Susanna Fogel is a Rhode Island native and apologist. She writes and directs movies and television, including the film Life Partners and the ABC drama series Chasing Life. She is an alumna of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker and Time.

About the Narrators

Gabra Zackman is an actress, author, and narrator who has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards. She was educated at Northwestern University. A classically trained actress, she has appeared in theaters all over the country as well as on film and television.

Bailey Carr is a New York City–based audiobook narrator. She graduated with a BFA in acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Bailey has narrated audiobooks for multiple New York Times bestselling authors.

Oliver Wyman is an actor and award-winning audiobook narrator. He has won five Audie Awards from the Audio Publisher’s Association, fourteen Earphone Awards, and two Listen Up Awards from Publisher’s Weekly. He was named a 2008 Best Voice in Nonfiction & Culture by AudioFile magazine. He has appeared on stage as well as in film and television, and he is a veteran voice actor who can be heard in numerous cartoons and video games. He is one of the founders of New York City’s Collective Unconscious theater, and his performances include the award-winning “reality play” Charlie Victor Romeo and A. R. McElhinney’s cult classic film A Chronicle of Corpses.

Dara Rosenberg is an accomplished voice-over artist who has been recognized nationally for her extensive work in audiobooks and commercials. She has a BFA in drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and studied at Interlochen Arts Academy, where she majored in drama and musical theater.

Michael David Axtell is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.

Allison Hiroto is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.

Scott Aiello has narrated over a dozen audiobooks and is a 2013 Audie Award finalist for his nonfiction narration of Sex and God at Yale by author Nathan Harden. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School drama division and has since performed and directed various New York plays and has been seen on television shows such as Person of Interest and Elementary. Before Juilliard, he was a regular in the Chicago theater circuit.

Ellen Archer has narrated numerous audiobooks and has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, as well as the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She is an actress, and singer with a degree in opera performance from the Boston Conservatory. She has performed extensively on the New York stage and in regional theaters.

Lauren Fortgang, a graduate of Fordham University’s Theater Program, is an actress, costume designer, and narrator. She has recorded everything from video games to textbooks. Her audiobook narrations have earned AudioFile Earphones Awards and placed her as a finalist for an Audie Award in 2014.

Jessica Almasy is an actress, theater teacher, and award-winning audiobook narrator. She has recorded over eighty titles, including the Earphones Award-winning Clementine series and Operation Yes, for which she won a 2010 Audie Award. Outside of the Clementine series, Almasy has also won five AudioFile Earphones Awards.

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.

Jonathan Davis has been inducted into the Audible Narrator Hall of Fame. A three-time recipient and fourteen-time nominee of the Audie Award, he has earned accolades for his narration from the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, the American Library Association, Booklist, the Audio Publishers Association, AudioFile magazine, and USA Today. He has narrated a variety of bestsellers and award-winners for top publishing houses. He also narrated over forty titles of the Star Wars franchise for Lucasfilm Ltd./PRH Audio, including several iconic movie tie-ins, has participated with Star Wars Celebration, and has built a significant fan base. His work as a narrator includes films and programming for National Geographic Television, NOVA, PBS, VH1, and Francis Ford Coppola. He grew up in Puerto Rico and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and Hebrew.

Carol Monda is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and accomplished voice-over artist. She is also an award-winning actor known for her work in Out of Season, After You Left, and The Gentlemen.

Richard Ferrone has recorded over 150 audiobooks including thrillers, romances, science fiction, and inspirational novels. He has earned an Audie Award and four Audie nominations, including for Best Solo Male Narrator of 2003. He was also recognized as an AudioFile “Voice of the Last Century” and a “Rising and Shining Star.” He has earned many AudioFile Earphones Awards and was named the 2011 Best Voice in Mystery and Suspense as well as the 2009 Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy. A science fiction fan, he narrated Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. He has also narrated works by James Patterson, Dashiell Hammett, Walter Mosley, John Sandford, Eric Van Lustbader, and Stuart Woods.

Stephen Bel Davies has recorded over a hundred titles. Trained at the Juilliard School Drama Division, he has narrated books by a number of New York Times bestselling authors.

L. J. Ganser is the winner of the prestigious Audie Award for Best Nonfiction Narration for his work in The Island at the Center of the World. He has recorded over 450 titles, ranging from preschool books to crime noir thrillers, from astronomical adventures in both science and science fiction, to Arctic Circle high-school basketball stories.

Dan Bittner is an actor and voice talent and winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards for audio narration. He has starred on stage and on the screen, in movies such as Men in Black, Adventureland, and the Producers: The Movie Musical. He has also appeared onstage as Macbeth and Sherlock Holmes in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Lance Rubin spent his twenties working as an actor and writing sketch comedy, with several successful runs of The Lance and Ray Show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. He has now turned his comedic talents to fiction.

Josh Hurley is an actor, improviser, narrator, and writer. His audiobook credits include Saving Lucas Biggs and Where Things Come Back. He has won two AudioFile Earphones Awards and lives in New York.

Stuart Price is an award-winning playwright and music producer.