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Publisher's Summary

Meet Mabel Loomis Todd, an inspired conversationalist who routinely invites scandal and ignores the rules of 19th century society. Now in her 70s and living on Hog Island in Maine, the outspoken writer and editor is holding court, entertaining us with musings on her colorful life, spilling secrets, and revealing the truth about how she turned Emily Dickinson into a household name. In an intriguing performance, Obie Award winner Kathleen Chalfant embodies the spirit of a fascinating woman whose legacy is forever linked to one of America’s most celebrated poets. 

A Woman of the World was originally produced by the Acting Company in association with Miranda Theatre Company. Written with the support of an artist residency at Hog Island Audubon Camp.

Written by Rebecca Gilman
Performed by Kathleen Chalfant
Directed by Valentina Fratti 

©2020 Rebecca Gilman (P)2020 AO Media LLC

Our favorite moments from A Woman of the World

You have all gathered here.
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11,000 copies were sold.
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Maybe that’s all I deserve.
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  • A Woman of the World
  • You have all gathered here.
  • A Woman of the World
  • 11,000 copies were sold.
  • A Woman of the World
  • Maybe that’s all I deserve.

About the Creator

Rebecca Gilman is an artistic associate at Goodman Theatre. Her plays include Luna Gale; Twilight Bowl; A True History of the Johnstown Flood; Dollhouse; Boy Gets Girl; Spinning Into Butter; Blue Surge (all of which were originally produced by the Goodman); Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976, and The Crowd You’re in With (also at the Goodman); The Glory of Living; The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Gilman is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, The Harper Lee Award, The Scott McPherson Award, The Prince Prize for Commissioning New Work, The Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, The Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, The George Devine Award, The Theatre Masters Visionary Award, The Great Plains Playwright Award, a Global Connections Grant by Theatre Communications Group, an American Scandinavian Foundation Creative Writing Grant, and an Illinois Arts Council playwriting fellowship. Boy Gets Girl received an Olivier nomination for Best New Play. Gilman was named a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for The Glory of Living. She is a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America. In 2016, she was inducted into the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

About the Performer

Kathleen Chalfant has been performing for half a century. Her performances on stage, screen, and television have garnered her praise and acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Perhaps best known for her shattering portrayal of Vivian Bearing, a scholar battling cancer, in Wit, she received the Obie, the Drama Desk, the Los Angeles Drama critics Circle Award, and a host of other honors. Chalfant made her Broadway debut in Dance with Me, followed by M. Butterfly. She went on to star as Hannah Pitt and Ethel Rosenberg in the original cast of Angels in America, receiving nominations for both the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award. Chalfant is also the recipient of the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, the Drama League Distinguished Performance Award, and the Sidney Kingsley Award, both for her body of work. Among her many performances on New York stages, Chalfant has starred in A Woman of the World, The Courtroom, Novenas for a Lost Hospital, For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday, Deadman's Cell Phone, Talking Heads (Obie Award), and Henry V (Callaway Award). Additionally, Chalfant has graced stages across the US, including the Long Wharf, the McCarter, The Guthrie, the Hartford Stage, and Sundance. Her film work includes appearances in Class Rank, Kinsey, Duplicity, Random Hearts, and Last Days of Disco. Chalfant has appeared extensively on television, including, most recognizably for her role as Margaret Butler on the Showtime series, The Affair. Other series work includes: The Guardian, Rescue Me, House of Cards, The Strain, Book of Daniel, Madame Secretary, Elementary, and Law & Order (all flavors). Chalfant is a founding member of The Women's Project and she helped establish Playwrights Horizons in Manhattan in 1975. She was an artist-in-residence at several universities, including Cornell and Yale, and serves on the faculty of the graduate acting program at The New School.

What listeners say about A Woman of the World

Average Customer Ratings
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not worth time

Some stories really aren’t that interesting.

Just because the characters (real or fictional) have connection to a famous person doesn’t mean they’re that interesting.

It was a waste of my time. Which is saying a lot considering all I have is time.

58 people found this helpful

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Not worth your time

please step it up Audible, please! I love history including American literary women’s history, but all of this was boring and pointless

28 people found this helpful

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Profile of a Raging Narcissist

I don't have any knowledge of whether this is pure fiction or has some basis in truth. If I cared, I would look it up. All I know is that I despised the "main character." She's as self-absorbed and narcissistic as they come.

27 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Performance worth it!

Fabulous! Musings on the private lives of very public figures, by a woman who has seen it all. I don’t know how much is true and how much embellished, but I loved the performance. It was witty and poignant — I savored every word like a fine confection. Love love love! Audible Originals has really stepped up their game lately.

26 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Drivel and prattle

Really obnoxious format. Sometimes offensive, for example insinuating that a woman is “unnatural” if she chooses not to have children. Really tried to listen to the whole thing, it’s only an hour but it’s an hour, but it was really tough to get through.

19 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Bat Crazy, Funny and Entertaining

A must read. Makes you think, laugh, scream, and holler. The best revenge against snobs and snobbery.

18 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Need to read biography first

You really need to read the biography of this woman first. This story is based on facts but it doesn’t make much sense if you don’t know anything about her beforehand. I wish I had known that. The narrator was excellent.

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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endearing

The story runs as a one woman show. I had originally thought this was a true story, I must not have focused while reading the description. it is a wonderful take told in a voice of an old woman who doesn't give a hoot how her listeners feel about her. I enjoyed it very much.

15 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Why?

Woman riding Emily Dickinson's coattail all her life tells stories that prove she really needed Dickinson to be interesting. Narrator did an amazing job of holding this one together though.

10 people found this helpful

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Sort of a random stream of consciousness

The tale rabbit-trailed all over but it was an entertaining path. A reasonable length for its meandering.

10 people found this helpful