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Good Kings, Bad Kings

Fiction: Popular Fiction
Unabridged   7.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/28/2013

PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction
Indie Next List
Booklist Best of Year Editors Choice

Good Kings Bad Kings

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781622311347
Digital Download ISBN:9781622311354


Winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction, this powerful and inspiring debut will, in the words of Barbara Kingsolver, make you “laugh, over and over again, and cry, and cheer” as it transforms how you think about what it means to be disabled.

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Product Description

Told in alternating perspectives by a varied and vocal cast of characters, Nussbaum pulls back the curtain to reveal the complicated and funny and tough life inside the walls of an institution for juveniles with disabilities. From Yessenia Lopez, who dreams of her next boyfriend and of one day of living outside those walls, to Teddy, a resident who dresses up daily in a full suit and tie, to Mia, who guards a terrifying secret, Nussbaum has crafted a multifaceted portrait of a way of life hidden from most of us. In this isolated human warehouse on Chicago’s South Side, friendships are forged, trust is built, and love affairs begin. And it’s in their alliances that the residents ultimately find the strength to bond together and finally fight back against their mistreatment.

Told with humor and authenticity in voices that stay with you long past the last page, Good Kings Bad Kings is at once strikingly original, baldly funny, and profoundly moving.

Performed by an ensemble cast, with Christina Delaine (Joanne Madsen), Lauren Fortgang (Michelle Volkmann), Emma Galvin (Yessenia Lopez), Alexander Cendese (Teddy Dobbs), David Ledoux (Ricky Hernandez), Karen Murray (Jimmie Kendrick), and Daya Mendez (Mia Oviedo).


Good King, Bad Kings has seven narrators who bring their situations to life. Each narrator was carefully selected for his/her skillful, emotional portrayal of the individual’s personality.”
      —Sound Commentary

“Vividly brought to life by a cast of seven talented performers.”
      —Wisconsin Bookwatch

“The full-cast production features the vocal talents of seven exceptional readers. . . . Expect both the book and audio to make year-end best lists.”
      —Booklist [starred review]

“A wonderful vehicle for audio, with engaging, heartrending performances by a talented cast of actors. . . . Enlightening listening.”

“A compelling and authentic vision of life in facilities for the disabled. . . . Mature young adults will appreciate the journey of these strong young people.”
      —Library Journal

“Nussbaum wonderfully sweetens a stark subject with doses of idiosyncratic humor and hard-earned pathos. . . . [She] upholds the individuality and integrity of her characters, never stooping to saccharine clichés or Hollywood manipulation. . . . [A] moving story.”
      —Washington Post

“This is fiction at its best. The story’s sharp eye allows no one to take shelter, and it doesn’t flinch, it is simply and breathtakingly honest. A stunning accomplishment.”
      —Barbara Kingsolver

Author Bio

Playwright SUSAN NUSSBAUM’s works have been widely produced, and her play Mishuganismo is included in the anthology Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out. In 2008 she was cited by the Utne Reader as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” for her work with girls with disabilities.

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