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Carla

BROOKLINE, MA, United States | Member Since 2006

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  • We Need New Names: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By NoViolet Bulawayo
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    Darling is only 10 years old, and yet she must navigate a fragile and violent world. In Zimbabwe, Darling and her friends steal guavas, try to get the baby out of young Chipo's belly, and grasp at memories of Before. Before their homes were destroyed by paramilitary policemen, before the school closed, before the fathers left for dangerous jobs abroad. But Darling has a chance to escape: She has an aunt in America. She travels to this new land in search of America's famous abundance only to find that her options as an immigrant are perilously few.

    FanB14 says: "African Girl Does US"
    "One of the best narrator performances I've heard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What does Robin Miles bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    "We Need New Names" is a lovely, engaging, and moving book at any rate. But Ms Miles's narration carries it to a completely new level of immersion and beauty. She provides a crisp, beautiful rendering of Darling's voice as a young girl with a childish inflection and a strong Zimbabwean accent, and transitions later in the book to a more teenaged inflection and self-consciously American accent. The voices she provides for other characters add flavor as well, such as the contrast between the voice of the American NGO workers' broad Californian dialect and the speech of Darlings' friends; or, the contrast between the adolescent Darling's carefully calibrated "proper English" and her school-friend's "Ebonics" (as the friend herself calls it in the book). The interaction of speech and voice and identity forms a central theme of "We Need New Names", and Ms Miles's narration breathes palpable life into this theme. Just magnificent work. I am off to search Audible for other books she has narrated.


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