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Awayland

Stories
Written by: Ramona Ausubel
Narrated by: full cast
Length: 5 hrs and 26 mins

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Publisher's Summary

An inventive story collection that spans the globe as it explores love, childhood, and parenthood with an electric mix of humor and emotion.

Acclaimed for the grace, wit, and magic of her novels, Ramona Ausubel introduces us to a geography both fantastic and familiar in eleven new stories, some of them previously published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review. Elegantly structured, these stories span the globe and beyond, from small-town America and sunny Caribbean islands to the Arctic Ocean and the very gates of Heaven itself. And though some of the stories are steeped in mythology, they remain grounded in universal experiences: loss of identity, leaving home, parenthood, joy, and longing.

Crisscrossing the pages of Awayland are travelers and expats, shadows and ghosts. A girl watches as her homesick mother slowly dissolves into literal mist. The mayor of a small Midwestern town offers a strange prize, for stranger reasons, to the parents of any baby born on Lenin's birthday. A chef bound for Mars begins an even more treacherous journey much closer to home. And a lonely heart searches for love online - never mind that he's a Cyclops.

With her signature tenderness, Ramona Ausubel applies a mapmaker's eye to landscapes both real and imagined, all the while providing a keen guide to the wild, uncharted terrain of the human heart.

Audiobook Table of Contents:
"You Can Find Love Now," read by Kirby Heyborne with Emily Rankin
"Fresh Water From the Sea," read by Rebecca Lowman
"Template for a Proclamation to Save the Species," read by Danny Campbell
"Mother Land," read by Cassandra Campbell
"Departure Lounge," read by Kate Rudd
"Remedy," read by Karissa Vacker
"Club Zeus," read by Macleod Andrews
"High Desert," read by Amanda Carlin
"Heaven," read by Vikas Adam
"The Animal Mummies Wish to Thank the Following," read by Bruce Mann
"Do Not Save the Ferocious, Save the Tender," read by Mark Bramhall

©2018 Ramona Ausubel (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Excellent and peculiar...Ausubel’s imagination...wants to offer consolation for how ghastly things can get, a type of healing that only reading can provide. All 11 of these stories are deeply involving.” (New York Times Book Review)  

“Anxious, whimsical, and deeply felt, Ausubel’s stories weave a remarkable and beautiful tapestry of emotion.... Ausubel’s signature ability to create atmosphere is in full force throughout Awayland, and the surreal or discomfiting moods sometimes wrapped around the stories are fitting for characters moving away from their comfort zones. By also touching upon social and political issues, she adds a new layer to her work that invites readers to move away from their comfort zones as well.” (Los Angeles Review of Books)  

“Everyday worries about pregnancy, mortality, and parents are given fantastical treatment in these playful stories.... Ausubel’s best stories have an affecting vulnerability; fans of Kelly Link, Karen Russell, and Miranda July will want to give this a look.” (Publishers Weekly)  

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  • martha
  • 12-02-20

Melancholy and Delicious

Awayland accomplishes an incredible feat in a very short amount of time, the physical copy managing to remain under 250 pages long. Every story fully encapsulates prolonged states of the loneliness in love. The stories capture the feelings of the melancholy day-to-day of love and isolation ranging from new-found adulthood to late stages of life. Confronting topics like grief, sadness, aging and the quiet fear that surrounds the every day life, all captured in true imagination and luscious language, walking the tight rope between fantasy and realism.