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Red at the Bone: A Novel Audiobook, by Jacqueline Woodson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jacqueline Woodson Narrator: Bahni Turpin, Peter Francis James, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Jacqueline Woodson, Shayna Small, others Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2019 ISBN: 9780593147054
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Named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2019 by LitHub and The Millions.

Called one of the Top 10 Literary Fiction titles of Fall by Publishers Weekly.

An extraordinary new novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.


Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Jacqueline Woodson's extraordinary new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of this child.

As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the soundtrack of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony-- a celebration that ultimately never took place.

Unfurling the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives--even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.

Read by Jacqueline Woodson, with Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Sabe), Peter Francis James (Po’Boy), Shayna Small (Iris), and Bahni Turpin (Melody)
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Quotes & Awards

  • "A spectacular novel that only [a] legend can pull off, one that wrenches us to confront the life-altering and life-pulling and life-subsuming facts of history, of love, of expectations, of status, of parenthood. Ibram X. Kendi in The Atlantic
     
  • A treasure awaits readers who encounter Red at the Bone….A universal American tale of striving, failing, then trying again. Time
  • Sublime….This short novel contains immense empathy for each member of its wide ensemble. Thus, as Woodson covers nearly a century, from the 1921 Tulsa race massacre to 9/11, her grasp of history’s weight on individuals — and definitive feel for borough life, past and present — proves to be as emotionally transfixing as ever. Entertainment Weekly
     
  • Red at the Bone is a narrative steeped in truth...Thank you, Ms. Woodson, for leading me home. The Washington Post
  • "Red at the Bone is a slim novel that has all the heft of a family saga but reads like poetry... Woodson nailed the ending, leaving me thoroughly satisfied and awed by her talent. Lynn Neary, NPR

    "Lyrical, dreamy, and brimming with compassion for her characters.
  • "[Red at the Bone] subtly explores the ways in which desire can reconfigure our best-laid plans, and its expansive outlook suggests how easily, in African-American life, hard-won privileges can be dissolved. The New Yorker
  • Vast emotional depth, rich historical understanding and revelatory pacing ... Woodson draws the profound magic out of the ordinary. She is unmatched in her ability to evoke emotion. The San Francisco Chronicle
     
  • A remarkable, intergenerational harmony of voices. At its center is hope for both individual and hereditary survival. USA Today
     
  • Gorgeous, moving…A story of love—romantic and familial—and alienation, grief and triumph, disaster and survival. Nylon 
     
  • Profoundly moving ... With its abiding interest in the miracle of everyday love, Red at the Bone is a proclamation. The New York Times Book Review
  • Red at the Bone breaks down the ways in which parenthood changes people for both better and worse and what it means to find your true identity. Parade 
  • Slender miracle of a novel [that] performs a magic trick with time….Woodson skips back and forth between the decades so deftly that it feels like it all happens in a heartbeat. Family Circle
  • “Five talented narrators, including the author, differentiate shifting time periods and three generations of an African–American family. Bahni Turpin aids listeners in understanding the feelings of sixteen-year-old Melody…Shayna Small fills in Iris’s complexities…Peter Francis James and Quincy Tyler Bernstine’s rich voices evoke the age, devotion, authority, and histories of Melody’s beloved grandparents. Author Jacqueline Woodson delivers the third-person narrative, connecting the way the protagonists impact each other…Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • A September 2019 LibraryReads Pick
  • A Parade Magazine Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2019
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Millions.com Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2019
  • New York Times bestseller
  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
  • Longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize
  • A Top Ten New York Public Library Best Book of the Year

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About the Author

Jacqueline Woodson, named national Young People’s Poet Laureate, is a multiple-award-winning author of more than two dozen acclaimed books for young adults, middle graders, and children. She won the 2019 Indie Champion Award for advocacy of independent bookstores. Among her many other honors are the National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, the NAACP Image Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, among others. She is the 2018 winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.” She was the 2013 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

About the Narrators

Bahni Turpin, winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and several prestigious Audie Awards for her narrations, was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine in 2019. Publishers Weekly magazine named her Narrator of the Year for 2016. She is an ensemble member of the Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles. She has guest starred in many television series, including NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, Cold Case, What about Brian, and The Comeback. Film credits include Brokedown Palace, Crossroads, and Daughters of the Dust. She is also a member of the recording cast of The Help, which won numerous awards.

Peter Francis James is an accomplished actor on both the stage and the screen. His theater credits include roles in On Golden Pond, Much Ado about Nothing, and August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. His many film and television credits include Jahfree Neema in Oz, Raymond Parks in The Rosa Parks Story, Joe Gould’s Secret, The Guiding Light, Law & Order: SVU, and Third Watch. James’ audiobook narration has won him nine AudioFile Earphones Awards.

Shayna Small is an actress, singer, and educator based in New York, where she received her BFA in Drama from the Juilliard School. She has worked across a variety of media including theater, film and tv, music and voice-over.

Frankie Maria Corzo is a film and voice-over actress and audiobook narrator. She obtained a BA degree in theater studies from Montclair State University.