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Tin House Summer Workshop Reads 2020

Listen to books by the authors, teachers, and presenters of Tin House's 2020 Summer Workshop!

Playlist Tags: season: summer audience: writers

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I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying

Essays

By Bassey Ikpi
Narrated by: Bassey Ikpi
Length: 7 hours 11 minutes

2020 Audie Finalist – Short Stories/Collections

In I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying Bassey Ikpi explores her life—as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist—through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our...

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This Is Major

Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope

By Shayla Lawson
Narrated by: Shayla Lawson
Length: 8 hours 48 minutes

From a fierce and humorous new voice comes a relevant, insightful, and riveting collection of personal essays on the richness and resilience of black girl culture—for readers of Samantha Irby, Roxane Gay, Morgan Jerkins, and Lindy West. 

Shayla Lawson is major. You don’t know who she is. Yet. But that’s okay. She is on a mission to move black...

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All This Could Be Yours

By Jami Attenberg
Narrated by: Thérèse Plummer
Length: 7 hours 44 minutes

All This Could Be Yours

“I am in love with Jami Attenberg’s writing, and was gripped by All This Could Be Yours from the opening pages. Everything about the Tuchmans felt so true to me: Alex’s confusion and anger toward the family’s toxic, now-comatose patriarch, Victor; Barbra’s isolation in her later years after a long marriage to a brute; Twyla and Gary’s unwinding secret selves—all of it is so perfectly told and paced. Full of Attenberg’s trademark dry wit and precise, uncomfortable insight into the psychology of family love (and its close cousin, family hate), this novel had me laughing with genuine joy and crying in real sadness at the same time.”

Books Are Magic image Liv Stratman, Books Are Magic
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A River of Stars

A Novel

By Vanessa Hua
Narrated by: Jennifer Lim
Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In a powerful debut about modern-day motherhood, immigration, and identity, a pregnant Chinese woman stakes a claim to the American dream in California.

“Utterly absorbing.”—Celeste Ng • “A marvel of a first novel.”—O: The Oprah Magazine • “The most eye-opening literary adventure of the year.”—Entertainment Weekly

NAMED ONE... Read more »

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The Incendiaries

A Novel

By R. O. Kwon
Narrated by: Keong Sim
Length: 5 hours 11 minutes

The Incendiaries

“R.O. Kwon’s debut knocked me sideways. The Incendiaries is a serious reckoning with the problem of fanaticism and the violence of blind devotion. The story of Will and Phoebe is told with an extraordinarily smart and soulful style. I was amazed at how perfectly Kwon’s spare language fit her novel’s expansive scope. A stunning portrait of what faith can do and undo, The Incendiaries will delight and disturb. But, most of all, it will impress.”

Bank Square Books image John Francisconi, Bank Square Books
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Fruit of the Drunken Tree

A Novel

By Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Narrated by: Marisol Ramirez, Almarie Guerra & Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Length: 12 hours 25 minutes

Fruit of the Drunken Tree

Fruit of the Drunken Tree made me cry at the airport. I was impressed by the small kingdom of women Contreras builds, with violence always threatening to creep in, all seen through the eyes of Chula, the youngest daughter. Contreras made her perspective believably cloistered while masterfully writing all the people around Chula in ways that made them feel real. Also masterful was the way Contreras used Petrona’s narrative throughout and the restraint she showed in dipping into her thoughts; she always left me wanting more. What Contreras chooses not to write has as big an effect as what she does. This novel is a dynamic exploration of what is known and, sometimes willfully, what is left unknown.”

Literati Bookstore image Lillian Li, Literati Bookstore
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Good Talk

A Memoir in Conversations

By Mira Jacob
Narrated by: Mira Jacob, Kivlighan de Montebello & Full Cast
Length: 2 hours 46 minutes

A bold, wry, and intimate graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families, and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing.

“By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it’s exactly the book America needs at this moment.”—Celeste Ng

How brown is too brown?

Can Indians be racist?
What does... Read more »

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Real Life

A Novel

By Brandon Taylor
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

A FINALIST for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the VCU/Cabell First Novelist Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the NYPL Young Lions Award, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award 
 
“A blistering coming of age story” —O: The Oprah Magazine


Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York TimesThe Washington... Read more »

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The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing

A Novel

By Mira Jacob
Narrated by: Mira Jacob
Length: 15 hours 7 minutes

A winning, irreverent debut novel about a family wrestling with its future and its past—for readers of J. Courtney Sullivan, Meg Wolitzer, Mona Simpson, and Jhumpa Lahiri

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE BOSTON GLOBE, KIRKUS REVIEWS, BUSTLE, AND EMILY GOULD, THE MILLIONS

With depth, heart, and agility, debut novelist Mira Jacob takes... Read more »

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Cleanness

By Garth Greenwell
Narrated by: Garth Greenwell
Length: 7 hours 11 minutes

Cleanness

Cleanness is a trance-inducing read. I started this book and was immediately swept up in it, and before I knew it, hours had passed. Greenwell describes human relationships in raw, beautiful detail while also exploring the power dynamics at play. If Cleanness is not one of my favorite books of 2020, it will have been a spectacular year for books.”

Hunter Gillum image Hunter Gillum, Beaverdale Books
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Red Clocks

A Novel

By Leni Zumas
Narrated by: Karissa Vacker
Length: 9 hours 5 minutes

Red Clocks

“This was a beautifully written and narrated book that I wish everyone to read. With the seemingly never-ending political talk about abortion, Leni Zumas rises to answer the question of what the reality would look like should such a thing become legal once more. Five narratives offer many different points of view pertaining to the immense responsibility and meaning of motherhood.”

Rediscovered Books image Kalli, Rediscovered Books
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We Love You, Charlie Freeman

By Kaitlyn Greenidge
Narrated by: Cherise Boothe, Karole Foreman & Myra Lucretia Taylor
Length: 10 hours 16 minutes

Frustrated by the limitations of cross-race communication in her predominantly white town, a young African-American girl teaches herself to sign. Years later, Laurel uproots her husband and daughters from their downwardly-mobile, over-educated and underpaid life in the South End of Boston for Cortland County, Massachusetts. The Freemans are to... Read more »

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What Belongs to You

By Garth Greenwell
Narrated by: Piter Marek
Length: 6 hours 16 minutes

On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia's National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk, and finds himself ensnared in a relationship... Read more »

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All Grown Up

By Jami Attenberg
Narrated by: Mia Barron
Length: 5 hours 42 minutes

All Grown Up

“Finally, a book which tackles singleness with the nuance such a subject deserves. Thank you, Jami Attenberg, for pushing back against society’s assumptions about what is allowed to matter in our lives. For giving us a different kind of narrative. All Grown Up is not all fluffy and lovely. It turns out that we have other stories — we single people. We human beings.”

East City Bookshop image Claire, East City Bookshop
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How We Fight For Our Lives

By Saeed Jones
Narrated by: Saeed Jones
Length: 5 hours 34 minutes

How We Fight For Our Lives

“Saeed Jones is supremely talented, so I expected his memoir to be great. I did NOT expect, however, to be left immobile in my chair after reading that final paragraph, processing the beauty of his words and those indelible sentences he’s generous enough to share with us. How We Fight for Our Lives is a moving and intimate portrait of the writer growing up as a young, gay black man and trying to understand the complex realities of his identity. We also gain insight to Jones’ relationship with his mother, a story that left me in pieces by the end. How We Fight for Our Lives is raw, difficult, and truthful, and completely stuffed with love.”

BookPeople image Eugenia Vela, BookPeople
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What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky

Stories

By Lesley Nneka Arimah
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 5 hours 19 minutes

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky

“Intense, haunting, and exquisitely rendered, the stories in Lesley Nneka Arimah's debut collection exist in a category of their own. They are individual worlds linked together by familiar themes - self-discovery, yearnings to love and be loved, generational divides, and the meanings of home and place - refashioned in a fresh, new light. Arimah shines in this debut, whose magic will surely live with you beyond the final page. Absolutely stunning.”

Square Books image Purvis Cornish, Square Books
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The Golden State

By Lydia Kiesling
Narrated by: Amanda Dolan
Length: 9 hours 9 minutes

A gorgeous, raw debut novel about a young woman braving the ups and downs of motherhood in a fractured America

In Lydia Kiesling's razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the edge of a breakdown, as she flees her sensible but strained life in San Francisco for the high desert of Altavista with her...

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Here Comes the Sun

A Novel

By Nicole Dennis-Benn
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 11 hours 42 minutes

Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis-Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is... Read more »

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The Glass Eye

A Memoir

By Jeannie Vanasco
Narrated by: Julie McKay
Length: 6 hours 6 minutes

The night before her father dies, eighteen-year-old Jeannie Vanasco promises she will write a book for him. But this isn't the book she imagined. The Glass Eye is Jeannie's struggle to honor her father, her larger-than-life hero but also the man who named her after his daughter from a previous marriage, a daughter who died.

After his funeral,... Read more »

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Patsy

A Novel

By Nicole Dennis-Benn
Narrated by: Sharon Gordon
Length: 17 hours 9 minutes

Patsy

“I feel that Dennis-Benn is unparalleled in writing the insidious unforgivables. The mother who can't find love for her daughter, the more-than-friend who takes everything you give them and never gives back, the daughter told to be a "good girl" who finds difficulty doing either of those things for the woman who ends up raising her. Like her debut, this novel is filled with characters tormented by the compromises they made but whose character Dennis-Benn refuses to compromise. The painfully recognizable humanity of everyone in Patsy asks us all to reach inside for the empathy we're capable of for people we wouldn't normally think to give it to.”

Water Street Bookstore image Alice, Water Street Bookstore
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