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Classic Women's Short Stories [Audio]

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This fine collection of classic tales by women is complemented by appropriate, unobtrusive classical music from the Naxos music catalogue, along with a booklet with biographies of the authors and readers. All of the narrators are exemplary, but Teresa Gallagher's performance of Virginia Woolf's "The Mark on the Wall" stands out. In this unusual stream-of-consciousness story, a woman sitting idly in her home notices a tiny speck on the wall, and as she wonders what it is (a hole from a nail? Dirt? An insect?) her thoughts wander to the people who owned the house previously, to history, to philosophy, to her own life and always back to the mark on the wall. Gallagher sounds completely spontaneous: listeners can easily believe that she truly is daydreaming and thinking aloud. In Katherine Mansfield's "The Garden Party," Carole Boyd's insightful performance accurately portrays British class distinctions post-WWI. Laura, an elite young girl, frets that her family should cancel their long-anticipated party out of respect when a workman is killed in front of their house, but her elders hush her, believing that "people like that" wouldn't expect them to spoil their fun. Boyd deftly creates character voices for Laura, her family, the home and garden workers, and for the poverty-stricken family that she later visits. Her reading conveys Laura's conflict between her former comfortable ignorance and her new social awareness. (Dec. 2001) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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