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Download Out of the Girls' Room and into the Night (Iowa Short Fiction Award) Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Out of the Girls Room and into the Night (Iowa Short Fiction Award) (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Thisbe Nissen
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (432 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thisbe Nissen Narrator: Caroline Miller Publisher: University Press Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN:
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Out of the Girls' Room and into the Night is a spirited, offbeat collection of stories, elongated riffs on that thing we call...love. All manner of love stories: thwarted love stories, imaginary love stories, love stories offhand and obsessive, philosophical love stories, erudite and amusing love stories.

People don't meet because they both like Burmese food, says one character, or because someone's sister has a friend who's single and new in town, or because Billy's nose happened to crook just slightly to the left at an angle that made me want to weep...People don't fall in love with each other...they just fall into love.

Everyone does it: women of fierce independence, men of thin character, rambling Deadheads, gay teenage girls, despondent Peace Corps volunteers, anorexic Broadway theatre dancers, the eager, the grieving, the uncommunicative. Even the confused do it. And they don't just fall in love with each other - they fall in love with certain moments and familiar places, with things as ephemeral as gestures and as evanescent as sunlight.

Quirky, real, idealistic, deluded, bohemian, and true, these are people who can - and often do - fall in love with a pair of ears, August afternoons, saucers of vitamins, New Age carpenters, and dead bumblebees. And if there's something they can teach us, it's how to conceive of alternative worlds and the terror and the exhilaration of venturing outside the confines of the lives we know and making our way into a dark, glittering unknown.

Winner of Iowa Short Fiction Award.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliza | 2/16/2014

    " I really appreciated how Nissen brought varied points of view to her short stories. The characters are not as simplistic as they seem...they feel very real. It was a great book for reading on the bus! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alethea | 2/10/2014

    " When you want to be in love, are in love now and don't want to be, or want to love love again, after hating it for a bit, a little Thisbe Nissen is what you need. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 nicole | 2/3/2014

    " i think i liked this in high school just because there was a sex scene in one of the short stories that didn't involve heaving bosoms. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 1/14/2014

    " I agree with what a lot of the reviewers here have said. While I can recognize that the writing is good and that the structure is sound, the characters were often interchangable and the plot lines not all that compelling to me. Many of them felt quite dated--like they would have been really scandalous and exciting ten or fifteen years ago, but today, eh. I liked "819 Walnut" because of its collective narration. I also really enjoyed "The Animal's Best Interest". I also liked "The Mushroom Girl" and "Flowers in the Dustbin, Poison in the Human Machine". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 1/7/2014

    " I was close to giving this one a 5. The writing is strong, the tones and voices and perspectives were generally ambitious and appropriate to the plots and themes, and and many of not most of the plots read as original and unexpected and mature. For instance, the story about the children at Tanner School and the one about the girls in the house in college were so good; the collective narration in the latter was ambitious and impressive, and the children in the former felt real and genuine and fully realized and understood. But she displays some major tics here (it's possible that some of these have disappeared with time; this is her first collection of short stories, after all) and sometimes the language/details felt like things that should have been taken out or changed in the revision stage - like something someone surely called out in a workshop at some point as a "darling" that needed to be "killed," as they say (and I feel almost certain that this was the collection of stories she turned in as her MFA thesis turned into a book, which means that the stories were likely extensively workshopped; but if I'm right, it was a damn good MFA thesis, and it deserved to be a book). For example, almost every character (and I agree that they often felt interchangeable - except when they didn't, and those few were great) "snorts" a laugh or in derision at some point in the story. Only one or two characters in a collection should be allowed to have the same tic. It takes you out of the story and too far into the writer's head when the same thing happens in 3/5 of the stories in a book. The female characters, especially, are typically - almost exclusively - girls who are sarcastic and temperamental but not so much so that they are unlikeable but just enough so that they're "tough" and "different," a character type that could have manifested itself in different ways and made the collection feel more varied and Nissen seem smarter. It almost felt like this manuscript was the golden child at Iowa that year (and it was; it won an award from Iowa) and no one questioned it the way no one questions more established authors when they make dodgy choices. Obviously, I'm making that up based on my own assumptions, but if it had just had a little more pushback, I think it could have been just glorious where now it's only (only!) clever and highly ambitious and powerful with a definitive point of view, yet a tiny bit muted and a little too singular in its perspective. That being said, the stories are observant and smart and well written. They pull you in when you wouldn't think you'd be interested in that plot or that character. Nissen has a clear and strong narrative voice and instinct for language. I will read more of her work happily, but there are just a few things about this collection that disappoint me because I feel like, with just one more editorial sweep, it could have been near perfect. E "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anya | 12/23/2013

    " A lovely collection of short stories ranging from the quirky to the very touching. There will be at least one story here to tug on your heart or make you smile. I wish Thisbe would write more short stories so that I can keep reading them. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 12/22/2013

    " I agree with some of the other reviewers that it seems like the same character written over and over. I really enjoyed the first story, but I got tired of so much of the same. The writing is very poetic and lyrical, but became too repetitive for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tuck | 12/7/2013

    " great short stories about love. very sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 11/17/2013

    " Beautifully written and woven together "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erica | 10/16/2013

    " I probably would have loved this if I'd read it 15 years ago...now, not so much. Well crafted writing but the stories themselves felt really forced. I get the feminine angst angle but it I would have felt a lot "cooler" after having read this at 16 or 17 rather than in my 30's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/13/2013

    " Loved some of the flash fiction in this book. A great book of short stories to read just before bed. Beautifully written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stefanie | 9/23/2013

    " another award winner: another disappointed expectation. maybe i just couldn't relate to the exploration of lesbian/bicurious relationships that comprised many of the stories. i did enjoy 3 1/2 x 5. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 9/13/2013

    " Abandoned because I had to return it and it wasn't compelling enough to keep overdue - a bunch of stories... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susie | 8/26/2013

    " i remember feeling deceived when reading this book years ago -- it read completely as young adult fiction for girls; why did i even pick it up? perhaps i was seduced by the cover's elegant design. i've read some of thisbe's more recent work and enjoyed her style, but not this collection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Mcdonough | 7/30/2013

    " '819 Walnut' 'Apple Pie' 'At the No. 1 Phoenix Garden' 'Way Back When In The Now Before Now' '3 1/2 x 5' "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharonlee | 5/27/2013

    " I'm glad I finally got around to reading these stories. I really, really like this writer's "voice". There were a couple of times when I thought she needed to, y'know, kill her darlings, but overall this is a lovely collection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 2/5/2013

    " I read this in Florence and it is an exceptionally weird and strange book, but very good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nisi | 11/14/2012

    " Great for a first read but I think she's better suited for novels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 10/30/2012

    " Among other things, Nissen is a master of Point of View, trying out every possible window that can be set up between the reader and the main character -- and she exploits all the options to incredible effect. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cherie | 10/14/2012

    " A Fantastic stories "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 CMolieri | 9/16/2012

    " An eclectic collection of contemporary short stories dealing with death, love, illness, sex, and life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allie | 8/29/2012

    " This is a really easy/fun collection of short stories to read. It's lighthearted, but not stupid. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 lindsay | 7/10/2012

    " If the sign of a good short story is that you're annoyed when you turn the page and find out it's over because you want to know what happens to the characters tomorrow, then this collection get full marks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly | 7/9/2012

    " Great book. I've read it twice. Chick-lit. "

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About the Author

Thisbe Nissen’s fiction has been published in the Iowa Review and the American Scholar, among others, and her nonfiction has appeared in Vogue, Glamour, and elsewhere. She teaches at Western Michigan University and lives in Battle Creek, Michigan, with her husband and their son.