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Mala

Narrated by: Melinda Lopez
Length: 1 hr and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3,895 ratings)

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Go Behind the Scenes with Melinda Lopez

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Deeply affecting...[Lopez] expresses her changes of mood and emotion without artifice, as if she were reliving the moments of the anguish and the joy of loving—and understanding—another person so fully.

- TheaterMania
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Our favorite moments from Mala

That’s what the Good Daughter does…
Seriously, I am not in denial.
She told me about the mouse blood.
It’s not like my mother isn’t tough.

  • Mala
  • That’s what the Good Daughter does…
  • Mala
  • Seriously, I am not in denial.
  • Mala
  • She told me about the mouse blood.
  • Mala
  • It’s not like my mother isn’t tough.
Melinda Lopez

About the Author and Performer

Melinda Lopez is the playwright-in-residence at the Huntington Theatre Company, and a National Playwriting Fellow with the Mellon Foundation. Her plays have been seen all over the United States, and most recently in Cuba. Her work strives to bridge the 90 miles between the United States and Cuba. Mala, Sonia Flew, and Becoming Cuba are her best known plays. Ms. Lopez was the first recipient of the Charlotte Woolard Award, given by the Kennedy Center to a “promising new voice in American Theatre.” She has served as a panel member for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cambridge Arts Panel, and has enjoyed residencies with the Huntington Playwriting Fellows, the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, the Lark, the New York Theatre Workshop, and Harvard University. Ms. Lopez is also an actress and has appeared in regional theatres across the country, and works in film and radio. She teaches playwriting at Boston University and Wellesley College. She is active in the Cuban American community, raising funds for humanitarian aid for the people of Cuba, and was mentioned by President Obama in his speech to the Cuban and American people in 2016. Mayor Marty Walsh declared October 29, 2016 “Melinda Lopez Day” in the city of Boston, where she lives with her husband, daughter, giant yellow dog, and other critters. She has run two marathons, plays a little ukulele, and occasionally sleeps on the ground in the American Southwest.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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

Hardest thing to do

I have searched for a book which I could read where someone could describe their experience of what it felt like to them to experience the decline and death of a beloved parent. Thank you for writing this, because it makes me feel normal. The narration is perfect.

30 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lorrie
  • Germantown, TN
  • 02-05-19

I needed this

I’m 42. I’ve been married 20 years. We have 2 teenagers. We’ve buried 3 of our 4 parents. We’ve outlived a great-grandmother that we all knew to the bottom of our bones would outlive us. Now, the last parent is dying by miles, instead of feet or inches.
Grief is a familiar friend with the heaviest hands.
Melinda Lopez has reminded me of many true things.
-though ordinary, it is as much an honor to witness the transition to death as it is with birth. Both are so messy, painful, and fundamental to our species, yet no one REALLY can prepare us for the profound change they shift us into... the New Normal.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing performance

Usually I start a review with talking about the content and then going onto the narration. But here I start with narration - because it is amazing. Extremely good. Melinda Lopez is brilliant. I cannot praise her performance enough.

She fills the performance with emotion - excitement, anger, disappointment, fear, amusement, sadness, loss. It's all there, in the best way. You can hear her voice shake with fear and sadness as she discusses the events of the story. As a listener you are carried on the journey with Lopez because of her narration.

There is swearing in this - in both English and Spanish - so if you have a problem with that, this is probably not for you. There is small bits of ethereal music between sections, and the occasional sound effect, but it is all used very sparingly and doesn't overwhelm the storytelling.

'Mala' is the story of a Cuban-American family. The story of a daughter, the younger daughter, the 'bad' daughter, dealing with her elderly mother as the mother becomes feeble, and sick, as old age takes over. It is about the pain, confusing, self blame, fear and love of watching a strong woman waste away. It goes through the ups and downs and the mother deteriorates and improves, as she has good days and bad days.

It is not told in a linear fashion, with that narrator jumping around in time, giving events out as they come to mind. Sometimes this is telling of events as they happen, sometimes giving background to events. It's vignettes of the relationship of mother and daughter, especially towards the end of life. It's the daughter working through the changes and the grief, while also being confronted by her own mortality.

The story is really good, and the narration is amazing. I enjoyed this story way, way more than I ever expected I would.

[If you enjoy this review please check out my other reviews. I review a lot of small press and indie books - support the small guys and you may find something new you will love]

81 of 85 people found this review helpful

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Jumbled like real life.

Things to consider before you are in this situation. Somber sobering observing. Fly-on-the-wall education if you have someone you will need to help on the final journey of life.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Very emotional

I like it, I feel related from time to time. Sometimes is not easy been a good daughter, sometimes it's OK to be Mala.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

authentic

very well done.... no matter your background, you will get this. everyone has someone that you love and they will transition., and you will feel all the feelings. Great story.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Mmmm....no

Just no, this book was surround in self pity and provided no substance for coping with lost of a love one.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Real, brutal, honest, brave, ...life

🌷💗 Living her words. Feeling and breathing everything she's written in one form or another from telling a family member to come say goodbye to my father and it went unheard to bring the youngest and the one left to take care of everything though there are others but can't be bothered. Only difference is my mother is lucid and thankful and for that I am ever so grateful! Watching my dad suffer in horrible pain for many years was but wrenching. To put into words her experience and feelings is amazing. I give her credit. I think I would crumble as I reflect on all that happened and is happening instead of draw strength. So many caretakers in this world and very few that help lift up the caretakers themselves. Excellent book. Highly recommend. 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Facing Death

Death is such a hard concept to wrap your head around. At times it seems like it only happens to ‘them’. Never to ‘us’. But the truth is that death catches up with everybody eventually.

In this heartrending book, Melinda Lopez takes on the difficult subject head-on by speaking frankly of the myriad of crazy thoughts and feelings that creep up on you and overwhelm you when faced with the death of a loved one. She writes with such passion, and her confusion and anger and sadness are felt deeply.

If you’re facing the death of somebody close, this book might help you come to terms with the difficulty of letting go.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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even when it's complimentary,

I struggled to finish this book. It felt like a drawn out Facebook post. the performance was good until the Boston accent. I gave this a shot since it was complimentary with my audible subscription. I wish I hadn't bothered, it gave me a lasting headache.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful