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October/November 2015

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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When Janis Ian was preparing to narrate her memoir, Society's Child, she turned to narrator Katherine Kellgren for advice. "She did what I would do with a young songwriter— she spent an hour on the phone just talking about her own process." After winning a Grammy for narrating Society's Child, Ian was in the lucky position of getting to choose her own projects, including Patience and Sarah, Isabel Miller's groundbreaking 1969 novel about two 19th-century women living together. Ian took it on as a personal project, producing it together with Jean Smart, who shares the narration, and director Stefan Rudnicki. "It's rare that you get to do something that you've loved since your youth, and do it exactly the way that you wanted to hear it." Ian compares a skilled audiobook performance to making a record—"something that will still be around in 30 or 40 years." It's all about sharing a good story. "My dad was a great storyteller, and I remember being 9 or 10 years old and sitting in his lap, and within two sentences, I'd be hooked, and I couldn't leave until it was over and I knew what happened. And that's how I felt when I read Patience and Sarah. It's just a darn good love story." —Jennifer M. Dowell Janis Ian Performer & Writer New York, New York " It's rare that you get to do something that you've loved since your youth, and do it exactly the way that you wanted to hear it." Photo by Lloyd Baggs 72 n AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com Listening With . . .

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