AudioFile Recommends

by Edith Pearlman | Read by Suzanne Toren

Edith Pearlman, the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award winner for BINOCULAR VISION, offers another collection of painfully succinct observations of the ordinary events and people who find themselves under her microscope. Pearlman’s economy of language creates imagistic prose that feels like poetry. It’s especially effective on audio, thanks to Suzanne Toren’s artistry. Toren pulls listeners into the unusual lives of a pedicurist who is an excellent listener, a big-hearted antique dealer, Louie-the-vegetable-man—who is “not composed of fruit or vegetables”—and a family with an anthropomorphic plant. She creates credible, complicated characters—from Somali refugees in Boston to a stowaway on a cruise ship. The cast is large and memorable, the stories piercing and perceptive, and Toren’s performance puts a unique stamp on each remarkable piece. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine