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The Island Dwellers: Stories Audiobook, by Jen Silverman Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jen Silverman Narrator: Kristen Sieh, Cassandra Campbell, Soneela Nankani, Alex McKenna, Vikas Adam, Renata Friedman, Hannah Cabell, Julia Whelan, various narrators Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2018 ISBN: 9780525527046
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For readers of Miranda July, Rebecca Lee, and Mary Gaitskill, a debut short-story collection that is a mesmerizing blend of wit, transgression, and heart. 

A passive-aggressive couple in the midst of a divorce compete over whose new fling is more exotic. A Russian migrant in Tokyo agonizes over the money her lover accepts from a yakuza. A dead body on a drug dealer’s floor leads to the strangest first date ever.

In this razor-sharp debut collection, Jen Silverman delivers eleven interconnected stories that take place in expat bars, artist colonies, train stations, and matchbox apartments in the United States and Japan. Unforgettable characters crisscross through these transient spaces, loving, hurting, and leaving each other as they experience the loneliness and dangerous freedom that comes with being an outsider. In “Maria of the Grapes,” a pair of damaged runaways get lost in the seductive underworld beneath Tokyo’s clean streets; in “Pretoria,” a South African expatriate longs for the chaos of her homeland as she contemplates a marriage proposal; in “Girl Canadian Shipwreck,” a young woman in Brooklyn seeks permission to flee from her boyfriend and his terrible performance art; in “Maureen,” an aspiring writer realizes that her beautiful, neurotic boss is lonelier than she lets on.

The Island Dwellers ranges near and far in its exploration of solitude and reinvention, identity and sexuality, family and home. Jen Silverman is the rare talent who can evoke the landscape of a whole life in a single subtle phrase—vital, human truths that you may find yourself using as a map to your own heart.


Read by Kristen Sieh, Saskia Maarleveld, Cassandra Campbell, Soneela Nankani, Rebecca Lowman, Brittany Pressley, Alex McKenna, Vikas Adam, Renata Friedman, Hannah Cabell, and Julia Whelan


Advance praise for The Island Dwellers

“Reading these stories feels like spying on lives you might never admit to living—hilarious, and painfully true. I loved every one. The Island Dwellers is thrilling, addictive, and wise, and it made Jen Silverman my new favorite writer. It will probably do the same for you.”—Alexander Chee, bestselling author of Queen of the Night and Edinburgh
 
“Jen Silverman’s stories are at once specific and worldly, contemporary and old-fashioned, cool and heartfelt. An archipelago of emotions, The Island Dwellers captures the wonder and oddity of romantic relationships.”—Sloane Crosley, bestselling author of The Clasp and Look Alive Out There
 
“A shimmering collection that speaks with humor and, ultimately, tenderness.”Kirkus Reviews Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A shimmering collection that speaks with humor and, ultimately, tenderness. Kirkus Reviews
  • Silverman’s disarming and unconventional characters are all searching for a connection with others. Some are battling loneliness or the fear of being alone but they’re all blessed with quick wits and warmth. This is an outstanding short story debut. Shelf Awareness
  • Reading these stories feels like spying on lives you might never admit to living—hilarious, and painfully true. I loved every one. The Island Dwellers is thrilling, addictive, and wise, and it made Jen Silverman my new favorite writer. It will probably do the same for you. Alexander Chee, bestselling author of Queen of the Night and Edinburgh
  • Jen Silverman’s stories are at once specific and worldly, contemporary and old-fashioned, cool and heartfelt. An archipelago of emotions, The Island Dwellers captures the wonder and oddity of romantic relationships. Sloane Crosley, bestselling author of The Clasp and Look Alive Out There
  • These stories, in any case, are irresistible, delivering a portrait of contemporary relationships that . . . is shot through with veins of real connection. The New York Times Book Review
     
  • The eleven stories that make up this collection are raw, intense in their longing, and tender in the most unexpected ways. Lambda Literary
     
  • An audacious collection of eleven arresting interconnected short stories . . .  Silverman creates a harsh, seductive world that is both more and less than it seems, showing how deeply people will deceive themselves to believe they’ve found connection. Silverman’s winning stories are varied and always engrossing. Publishers Weekly
  • The Island Dwellers is stunning: steely and tender, searingly intimate, and very, very funny. In these stories, you will see worlds both hauntingly familiar and astonishingly surprising. I loved this collection and did not want it to end. Kayla Rae Whitaker, author of The Animators
  • Reading The Island Dwellers feels like flying over a city at night, each story a bright window in the darkness. This collection is full of longing and surprise and real, lingering beauty. Ramona Ausubel, author of Awayland and Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty

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About the Author

Jen Silverman is a New York–based writer and playwright, a two-time MacDowell fellow, recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, the Helen Merrill Fund Award for emerging playwrights, and the Yale Drama Series Prize for Still. She is the 2016-2017 Playwrights of New York Fellow at the Lark. She completed a BA in comparative literature at Brown University, an MFA in playwriting at the University of Iowa, and the Playwrights Program at Juilliard.

About the Narrators

Kristen Sieh is a voice and television actress. She has appeared on such television shows as Law & Order and Boardwalk Empire. She has also narrated several audio books.

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.

Soneela Nankani, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a classically trained actress, voice-over artist, and singer who has had roles in film and on television. She has worked with the award-winning Sojourn Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

Alex McKenna is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator and a television and film actress best known for her role as Abby Macy in the television series Crossing Jordan.

Vikas Adam is a classically trained actor with numerous credits in stage, film, commercials, and television, in addition to his over one hundred recorded audiobooks. An Audie Award nominee, he has garnered many awards for his narrations, including AudioFile Earphones Awards and various Best of the Year lists.

Julia Whelan, winner of numerous Earphones Awards, won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Romance Narration in 2013 and has also been a finalist for an Audie Award in other years. She was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of 2010, and two of her audio narrations were shortlisted for the American Library Association’s notable recordings of 2010. Her narration of Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere earned a place in the first round of 2011 Grammy nominations for Best Spoken Word Album. She is a former child actor who has appeared in multiple films and television shows, most notably ABC’s Once and Again. After receiving her college degree, she returned to the film industry and is also a writer.

Chris Widener is a successful businessman, author, speaker, and television host. He has authored over 450 articles and numerous books; he has also produced many CDs and DVDs on leadership, motivation, and success. Widener was previously the host of the national interview show Made for Success and cohost of True Performance with Zig Ziglar. As a public speaker, he has presented to organizations such as General Electric, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and the Harvard School of Business.