Rumor and Reality

Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Thursday, June 6, 2019

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What we assume about others can miss the truth about their situations by so much that we can become blinded to their reality. The pair of audiobooks available for you to download and keep for free this week, one an #OwnVoices title and performance and the other adapted from a Western classic, may put a check on our being too quick to assume we know how to value the intentions of others.


A full cast with Firdous Bamji, Neil Shah, Soneela Nankani, and Lameece Issaq speak for the characters in Tanaz Bhathena’s A GIRL LIKE THAT, published by Recorded Books. Set in contemporary Saudi Arabia, the story unfolds from multiple viewpoints, including those of a young couple found dead and those who knew them—or believed they knew all about the girl, at least.  Separating rumors, assumptions, and reality becomes the work of the listening reader, thanks to the ensemble performance. Be sure to check out the listen-alikes on the download page to find more audiobooks rich in cultural details and revelatory storytelling. (You’ll need to locate these other titles in your library’s collection.)

Famed Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, adapted by Rebecca Lenkiewicz for L.A. Theatre Works, offers listeners a second take on the blinding power of gossip. A full cast that features Richard Kind, Rosalind Ayres, Gregory Harrison, and Josh Stamberg, gives a radio drama-style performance of how a town weighs up the costs of economic livelihood with water pollution. Part of the Sloan Foundation-funded “Relativity” series of science-themed play productions, this play may find listeners taking sides and then reconsidering the wisdom of their own, as well as the characters’, assumptions.

Find out more about radio drama and how it has developed over the past 140 years to dovetail nicely into full cast audiobook experiences for those who enjoy aural theater.

Pictured above are this week's authors, Tanaz Bhathena and Henrik Ibsen

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