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Extended Audio Sample The Untelling Audiobook, by Tayari Jones Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 5 3.50 (8 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tayari Jones Narrator: Michele Blackmon Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2005 ISBN: 9781482975956
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Aria is no stranger to tragedy. Fifteen years ago, a family outing took the lives of her father and baby sister, leaving remaining members of this fractured family struggling with their own guilt—real and imagined. At twenty-five, Aria believes she can reinvent herself through her planned marriage with all its promise of a family of her own. Her infertility changes her life as swiftly and irrevocably as the urban landscape around her. With prose that is both eloquent and unflinching, Jones charts the emotional journey of her characters as they explore the painful territory of truth and the healing landscape of forgiveness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Poignant…powerful…startling…Tayari Jones reveals herself as one of the most important writers of her generation.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “The first-person narration is convincing and genuine, and Jones handles her material with sensitivity and sympathy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Michelle Blackmon reads in soft, lush tones, expressing Aria’s passion for life and friendship. Blackmon plays with accents and stereotypes of African-Americans and whites in the South, adding spice and color to the narrative. Jones shapes this novel with sophisticated language and imagery that add dimension to the story.”


  • “A delicate portrait of a young woman’s emotional fragility as she attempts to get over the greatest trauma of her life.”


  • “Teens will appreciate Ariadne’s dilemma as she wrestles first with the implications of a child out-of-wedlock and then the more difficult truth that she will never bear her own children.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Tayari Jones is a remarkable novelist, able to face down the tragedies of life with the clarity and beauty and even the dark humor of a true artist. And she has unerring storytelling instincts. The Untelling is a wonderful book and Tayari Jones is a flat-out brilliant writer.”

    Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

  • The Untelling is the story of deep hurt and slow realization, injury and recovery, and the way people genuinely change their lives. I love it.”

    Dorothy Allison, author of Cavedweller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Uzzie | 5/30/2010

    " Good novel; content is good, but I think the writing is great. The novel explores how the past impacts our present choices in way in which we are not conscious, whether we tell it or "untell" it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vanessa | 3/1/2010

    " I liked this book up the end, and was not so nuts about it. Overall though, it's a pretty good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bridget | 8/26/2009

    " Another Bldg 19 find. I read it so quicly. The storyline just really caught me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danielle | 4/20/2009

    " I was assigned this book in college but know I wasn't developed enough to really grasp it. The second time around I was really struck by how many people's experiences I will never relate to - it's disheartening but also enriching to hear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 12/1/2008

    " Great book! I'm not a big fan of the vague endings which seem to be popular with modern books, but I'm getting more used to them and so they don't tick me off as much. ;) I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Smithb | 11/4/2008

    " A very interesting book. I enjoyed it - hope to read more from this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andres | 9/29/2008

    " Easy to read. A bit gloomy and slow, but still fun enough to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abby | 6/23/2008

    " This story was well thought out and the characters were revealed in a way that made them easy to relate to, I felt like I knew each character and they would do what the character did given the same circumstances. "

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About the Author
Author Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones is the author of the novels Silver Sparrow, Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, and An American Marriage, a New York TImes bestseller. Silver Sparrow was named a #1 Indie Next Pick by booksellers in 2011, and the NEA added it to its Big Read Library of classics in 2016. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, the Believer, the New York Times, and Callaloo. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship, and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. She is a graduate of Spelman College, the University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is an associate professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University.

About the Narrator

Michele Blackmon has spent more than twenty-five years performing, directing, and teaching theater. As an actor, singer, and dancer she has performed in numerous stage productions in Seattle, Portland, Aspen, and at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has appeared in television commercials and corporate video projects, radio and voice-over projects, and she has performed in the Soviet Union as part of a cultural arts exchange.